My name is Judith-Pamela, and I am an 18 year old blogger with a major reading addiction! Of course, being in university for my 4 year BA doesn't necessarily help when it comes to reading the type of books I prefer, but I'm in love regardless. Speaking of which, romance is a passion of mine, and my pastimes include reading as much of it as possible.
I am Peter Pan, forever young, and also a growing Christian. Disney is dear to me as miniature pooches and shopping. Most people describe me as eccentric, opinionated and weird, but what most find surprising to know is that I am also fairly shy.
To learn mire about me, and the awesome books I read, visit me on my blog!
Where to find Judith-Pamela Ayimma online
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Smashwords book reviews by Judith-Pamela Ayimma
- Shadeland (The Ethereal Crossings, 1)
on Sep. 15, 2012
3/5 stars: An informative Paranormal YA mystery, rife with unexpected thrills and an engaging protagonist.
The Good Stuff.
I learned so much about mythological creatures from this book – particularly Etherics – and I look at the whole reading as an education. An enticing one, mind you, but one nonetheless. D.L. Miles exhibits a lot of creativity in her story and in the ideas that it brings across; I’ve never read a book quite like hers. I’m pleased to say that the sequel to Shadeland is most definitely a must-have! She left me hanging with that ending,Cliffhanger…why?!?, but the woman knows how to keep me coming back.
The story is as follows: The Eidolon ‘officially’ came out to the humans only recently, meaning the world knows that all the bumps in the night are real, and the weird dearth in the blood bank supplies…those there are vampire-related problems! Vampires, as well as others, have basically ripped down the invisible curtain of ignorance, and well, the humans are pissed. Naturally, they can’t quite deal with the fact that there are forces legitimately ‘better’ than they are, and for the first week following this coming out, protest fires are rampant. Liv, our protagonist happens to be best friends with an Eidolon, Luke. She’s a pretty easy-going girl, and except at the occasional ignorant pig, doesn’t get worked up by much. Liv lives and let’s live.
Ahaha, get it?! Oh gosh, these jokes are getting worse, aren’t they?
The two have been together since childhood and from then she’s known about him having special powers. She accepts him for what he is, if only the rest of the world did. People are harshly prejudiced against the Eidolon’s and Luke being one is kept pretty much on the down low to avoid unnecessary scrutiny. However, things do not go on as planned. He being an Eidolon plays a special part later in the story, mainly because when mysterious killings begin happening in their little town, Luke and Liv are right in the middle of it. Women are being targeted and Luke ends up being convicted. To help him, Liv joins forces with seemingly ill-natured but dangerously attractive bounty hunter, Jared. Not much for putting down roots, sorry Holding Carter, he’s in town only for the reward money being offered by a victim’s family member. Together, he and Liv hunt down the killer, encountering a host of peculiar people and interesting discoveries along the way.
I’ve got to hand it to Liv, for a YA protagonist, she was decidedly well-rounded and perceptive. She didn’t take much, if anything, for granted and the first half of the novel was brilliant because of her. I kept flipping through chapters and just loving it in her head, it was a good place to be. There are minimal grammatical issues and the writing is crisp and smart. Mystery plays an integral part in the happenings of Shadeland and I’m pleased to say that the story holds; well into three quarters of the book I was still wandering, ‘whodunit?’ There were red herrings, and when I thought I had it, Miles pleasantly surprised me by proving otherwise. The maturity of D.L.’s characters is admirable because of how humanly authentic they feel; she gives them emotions, but responsibilities as well. I mean it was revolutionary! A young adult protagonist with duty, say, employment? What you smoking?! Hah, I welcomed the change.
As you know, for the first part of this book, I was in love. The only points of contention are:
1.) The continuation of said awesomeness, it did not continue. Things began to lag.
2.) Certain aspects of the Eidolon’s are confusing and not fully explained, I mean, the bulk of knowledge comes from a sporadically present Eidolon scholar, who persists in his reluctance to divulge ‘precious knowledge.’ I wouldn’t have minded an expansion on detail, and more information in terms of some obscure mythical creatures. The world building, or at least the explanation of it was lacking, and I’m looking to the second book to remedy this.
3.) The pacing bothered me. I mentioned that the second quarter of Shadeland lost steam, and this is mainly because things got abrupt and monotonous, a weird combination I know, but it seemed as though the characters were not moving anywhere but revisiting the same places over and over. Things really began to slow, and this is perhaps necessary for a mystery novel, inspecting clues and whatnot, but I would have liked to see more of the town outside of the 3-4 primary locations.
4.) Liv and Luke’s relationship was a bit hazy for me, mainly because the opportunity to see them interacting outside of the craziness wasn’t fully provided. There was so much going on that they never got to be ‘friends.’ Sure, Liv sticks her neck out for him, but all we really get to see of Luke is a mixture of confusion and morose temperament; I missed experiencing his and Liv’s connection.
Besides that, I have no qualms with either Shadeland or D.L. Miles. She is a great author with loads of promise, and I was happy to review this book for her. A copy was provided through Smashwords and I am grateful! Regardless of the few problems, this is still an interestingly good book. A lot happens and there is no sense of disappointment post its completion, just a need for answers. This is why I need the sequel! 3/5 stars , give Shadeland a try!
- The Athena Effect
on Oct. 22, 2012
I was positive there wouldn’t be any more Indie author reviews coming from me this I closed down shop, essentially shielding myself from the ongoing onslaught and blocking year, mainly because of life being hectic, and also because the waters between bloggers and self-published authors had long since grown troubled. After witnessing many others bear the brunt of insult or heckling because of conflicting views and opinion, I was in no hurry to put myself in any such position. So out self-published authors along with their books. In this case, I’d have to really like the book, from an indie author, to review it on request.
And wouldn’t you know it? I really liked this book.
The author, Derrolyn, is a very sweet lady. Heck, I just called her a lady, which should tell you something! She was very humble when requesting this review, explaining that she knew how strained things had become, and also that she would still like me to consider The Athena Effect for review. When I told her that the review might come a little late, she was cool, and very accommodating to my circumstance. How could I say no?
The premise of Derrolyn’s novel first struck me as being intriguing, a girl with strange abilities and a love interest with a similar name? It was all very interesting and I went to work on it almost as soon as it was downloaded to Tookie, my kindle. This is almost an embarrassment to admit, if it wasn’t so incredible, but the book grabbed me, and I lost against the sheer force of The Athena Effect’s awesomeness. There is solid plot, ingenuity, humour, romance and a peculiar brand of uniqueness about Derrolyn’s writing that I am sure will see to it that she, along with this series, go very far.
The prologue kicks things off with a strange man and woman, both gravely malnourished, and running from something. It is revealed that the woman, Jenny, is pregnant, and both she and the man, David, are in desperate need of help, and a ride. They end up receiving assistance from a kind, sympathetic trucker who agrees to take them north…yes, very mysterious, I know, but the real story begins a few years later with Cali, Jenny and David’s daughter, she was a treat. Being a girl raised completely in the woods with hardly anyone but her parents, Cali is in all respects, a wild child. The girl blends like a ninja, hunts as well as any samurai, and generally keeps to herself. Except for one thing… Cali is fairly learned. Meaning, she has most probably gone through more books than me.
*Blinks* What, Grey’s Anatomy is a book?!?
*Sarcastic face* See?
Despite her lack of exposure to the outside world, she is still a brilliant young woman, capable of survival and superior intellect; I had to respect that. Cali is an intelligent and deeply thoughtful heroine. Her parents have always prohibited contact with the outside world and generally go to town only for the most necessary of errands. When most girls are grieving over which prom dress to pick, Cali can sit back and read. How cool is that? Very, if you ask me, but of course things take a major 360 turn when her parents are found dead, victims of a motorcycle accident. Cali is left alone; used to turning to her parents for direction, she now stands aimless. There is no foul play suspected in the occurrence of their deaths, her parents have long been victim to terrible seizures, horrible hallucinations, and Cali believes that they ran into a semi-truck while undergoing one of these seizures. Almost as soon as their funeral is through, she is on a bus, bound for the city and her Aunt Angie’s house. Cali is still a minor and will have to live with her new guardian until she is of age to make her own decisions legally and hopefully return to the cabin in the woods, the only home she has ever known.
This is the first time we get a view of Cali’s visibly strangest quality, her eyes. She later describes the condition as heterochromia, meaning she has two different eye colors, one blue and the other green. Couple that with her heightened awareness of people’s feelings, an ability that allows her to read their “colors” and ultimately emotions, and you know this girl is different. Although almost oblivious to her differences, she embarks on her adventure to the city a little hesitant, but ultimately just curious. She will have to have her wits about her to confront the dangers awaiting: the man her parents spent the better half of their lives running from, and her aunt’s major creep of a boyfriend, Phil, who means a lot more harm than good. There are challenges at every corner for Cali; the girl can’t ever seem to catch a break. My heart ached for her.
Imagine not knowing how to interact in modern society, or never having to deal with the numerous constraints that govern daily life before, how would you cope with being suddenly thrust into such a world, expected to adjust quickly and following a tragedy such as your parent’s deaths? I couldn’t do it. It was a weird perspective, reading of someone who knew so much and yet was unaware of what is commonly taken for granted as basic etiquette. Before I began reading, this was by far the portion of the book I feared the most; I didn’t know how well it would be executed, hesitant at the thought of having to endure some bimbo, doe-eyed character. To think that such an individual with apparently latent TSTL symptoms might have been let loose upon the fictional world to ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ over every pothole and sewer drain made me cringe, but to my delight, Derrolyn knew exactly what she was doing! Cali embodied newness, an endearing naivety. The idea of her, the character, struck me as being completely authentic. Also, the coupling of Cal and Cali, two protagonists with very similar names, was another aspect of this novel I loved, loved, loved! These concepts were like toss-ups, gambles in a world of contrived cookie-cutter cut-outs and they paid off. It was different…an innovative, brilliant combination and I adored it.
For fear of accidentally ruining anything, I will keep the following details pertaining to Cal and Cali’s romance to a minimum. Let me say though, that they were both very good together. Cal is set up as the bad boy biker and player extraordinaire. Cali kind of takes him by surprise because she isn’t fazed by his show of machoness. Quite frankly, she can see right through him, and under the leather and flair, he’s just a boy with surprisingly earnest feelings and a good heart. They would do anything for each other, and watching their affection grow was by far my favorite part of the journey.
This quote from the book takes place as Cali sits at the bus station, waiting for Angie to arrive and pick her, it is a beautiful peek into their relationship:
“She watched the one named Cal as he sauntered back to his bike. It was a bigger, more powerful looking motorcycle than her father’s; she’d never seen one that looked like it before. She tried not to stare, but she’d never seen anyone who looked like him before either.
He was tall, taller than her father, clad in dirty blue jeans and a black leather jacket that fit snug across his broad shoulders. His hair was dark, like his eyes, which were fringed with black lashes that made them stand out even from a distance. She’d never seen a really good-looking man before, and she watched him, fascinated.
He walked with a confident swagger that belief the anxious chartreuse color he was radiating. Like everyone else at the bus station, he was troubled. He reached into his pocket for a pair of mirrored sunglasses, slipping them on to hide his arresting eyes. She watched him straddle the bike gracefully, without putting on a helmet. He revved the engine and sped away, going much too fast.
Beautiful idiot, she thought.”
And there’s even more to come, the book expands really well on its initial themes, and while some were mature, dealing with suicide, obsession, depression, etc. the book is a stand-out of epic proportions. It didn’t feel self-published, and ultimately, I am glad to have given The Athena Effect a chance; this novel certainly deserves to be read by everyone with a strong interest in science-fiction and romance. Personally, I would categorize The Athena Effect as being more of Mature YA/New Adult in genre simply because there are sexual situations and it feels a lot more grown up than most YA fiction, but in a good way! There is an ease to which things play out and plenty of heartwarming scenes to keep readers gripped. There were instances I felt my periphery melt away; it was like watching a really sweet movie. Basically this book has a little bit of everything, humour, action, romance, and a sci-fi twist that most readers will love, everyone should read this.
- The Mackenzie Legacy
on May 15, 2013
This is a very easy book to like, and more so, read and fall into. I liked being effortlessly drawn back into the complexities of Cal and Cali's life. The novel literally picks up where The Athena Effect left off, and while both Cal's are still on the run, they are still very much in love. With the threat of recapture at the hands of Max looming in the backs of their minds, Cal and Cali need to lie low. Initially they stick to camp grounds, distant roads, and avoid drawing attention to themselves by living modestly off the few funds they have left. This doesn't last long however, and as the money quickly disappears, one thing leads to another and the young lovers find themselves on a journey neither could have ever bargained for. Monumental secrets regarding The Athena Effect as well as Cali's heritage are unravelled, and as the long hidden truths come to light, everything changes.
Firstly, let me say that the stressful conditions mentioned above do nothing to disrupt the romance between Cal and Cali, and I loved seeing them grow and really mature as characters. Truthfully I don't see why anyone would want to keep them apart; they fought like hell to be together and they just work. I like their relationship because Cal and Cali are made for each other and you really can't picture them happy and apart. Things like that just shouldn't happen, so you can imagine how beyond pleased I was that Derrolyn kept them together. As is expected, they do fight to a degree, and rather realistically, but the arguments never grow so out of control that there is talk of permanent separation. It was good to see them keeping things in perspective and managing disagreements like the capable adults I knew them to be.
*snaps for Derrolyn*
As a second book in the series, The Mackenzie Legacy adds a substantial amount of detail and revelation to the series overall; it is mind-blowing how much changes and the impact of these developments. Derrolyn carried the story over seamlessly, and The Mackenzie Legacy proves itself a worthwhile sequel because it does help the series progress. There is just so much excellent and right with this book that I was hard pressed to find the bits just short of brilliance.
There is a strong connection felt with almost all the characters. Cali struggles with honing her abilities while still adjusting to the world outside her cabin, coming to terms with the truth of the experiment that ultimately claimed the lives of her parents and still largely governs hers. Cal helps her a lot through these struggles, but battles with his own share of insecurities. Every time he worried that Cali would leave I wanted to shake him a little and be like, she isn't going anywhere! Yet if I had done that, the pleasure of watching him work through it on his own would have been lost. He supports her and accepts everything, even Cali's more dangerous connections, such as her bond with the twins Layla and Michael. He would do anything for her, truly the author is successful in showing much more than telling the lengths each Cal is willing to go for the other.
As a backdrop to the story, the setting is great, and the added tension of characters being on the run made for a suspenseful read. There is a healthy amount of mystery and romance throughout the plot which pretty much guarantees readers will gasp at least once, if not twice. The writing improves in The Mackenzie Legacy, and although some portions of the book felt a bit rushed, and some resolutions hurried, this book ultimately makes for an exciting and rewarding read. I definitely recommend it - reader discretion for the more mature scenes is advised - and I am an even bigger fan of the series than before.
Get your hands on this series now!
3.5/5 moons: A satisfying continuation to a great series, The Mackenzie Legacy isn't a book to miss and fans of the series will be thrilled with startling revelation, touching romance and a suspenseful, rewarding plot.