Kaylee Stevens

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Kaylee Stevens

  • Crucible of Dust (The Clockwork Ascendancy - A Steampunk Saga) on May 13, 2012

    It is clear that this was written by a pro who knows his craft. Perfect editing and grammar, beautiful sentence structure, the words strung together in a way that just flowed off the page (screen) and created this gritty, magical world in my mind. The world was incredibly original and picturesque with a steampunk/supernatural setting, and the plot unfolded at a natural pace and never felt forced or contrived. I haven’t read many of these types of books before but I just might start! I don’t know if this was the prequel to a series to come but I hope so. I’m hooked!! I want there to be a longer novel about all that happened to Flynn and his Order and the Sundering. It sounded so interesting and I wish we could see it happen as it really did, instead of it being what happened in the past. Recommend for those who enjoy beautiful writing and a moving story with action, surprises, and character study.
  • A Luminous Future on May 31, 2012

    Teodor Flonta’s father is declared a “chiabur” and enemy of the people, and is constantly being imprisoned and tortured for working harder than others and having more land. Wow. Talk about an eye-opener! We are so used to living in a time and place where these traits are rewarded, to think of growing up in where it is punished…yet people continue to do it anyways…it’s so incredibly sad but inspiring at the same time. Teodor ‘s (the narrator) father is so brave, and it’s obvious that this story is a testament to his memory and the legacy of courage and convictions he instilled in his son. I loved the part when they said how Stalin had died and they were supposed to be sad and hang their flags low. But Teodor and his friends were happy and celebrated…they still retained the ability to think for themselves and know what was right and wrong despite the attempts to coerce their way of thinking. There is much to be admired in this book, and I thank Mr. Flonta for taking the time and (painstaking) effort to do it, and I thank him for letting me experience a bit of his extraordinary life. It was truly unforgettable.
  • A Song Apart on June 12, 2012

    (4.5 stars) Okay so to be honest, at first I thought the main character (Kevin) seemed like a crazy stalker guy and thought it was pretty unbelievable that a celebrity rock star would want to date him because she saw him wearing her t-shirt. I mean, hello! That’s probably the last guy she’d want to date, especially one who calls himself her “number 1 fan” (“Misery” anyone?) Yet for some reason when Kevin and Shannon come together, their relationship is sweet and believable. Kevin grew on me and I really liked the way he handled himself in situations, even though he makes mistakes. I liked that the characters weren’t cardboard cutouts but three-dimensional human beings with flaws and all. Yet they were all very likeable (well, not the jerks), and there were many subplots to this overall story that kept me flipping through the pages of my kindle as fast as I could. In the end I can say that I really liked it and think others will to. It’s a pretty original spin on the average “boy meets girl” storyline, and the writing is strong, compelling, and from what I saw, free of any glaring editorial errors (always a big plus in my book!) I give “A Song Apart” by Jeffrey H. Baer 4.5 stars.
  • When Earthlings Weep on June 24, 2012

    The good: This novel is intelligent, creative, and multi-faceted. It is never boring, and definitely keeps you on your toes. It’s deep and has layers upon layers of subtle subtext that continues to become exposed throughout the course of the book. The not-so-good: I had a difficult time connecting with the writing, as it was different than what I am used to. I felt too much like things were being told TO me, instead of letting me be a part of the action and experience it for myself. There was quite a bit of head-hopping amongst the characters, so much so that there were several times I didn’t know whose head I was in. The beginning had many editing errors that seemed to have smoothed themselves out mostly by the halfway mark. Still, it was distracting at times. That all said, no book is perfect, nor do I expect it to be. Was it the best book I ever read? No. Was it the worst? Not by a long shot. Would I read more from this author? Absolutely, yes. Would I recommend to others? Yes, as long as the aforementioned doesn’t bother you. It is quite an interesting and compelling journey, and the author gets high praise from me for writing such a unique story.
  • The Crow God's Girl on Aug. 09, 2012

    more like 4.5 stars... the concept for this book was great. VERY unique and imaginative with clever dialogue. The writing was strong, although there were some minor editing glitches. Nothing major. The prose was beautiful and the characters really came to life in my mind. I admired Kate for her wit and strength and liked the contrast of her modern-day personality in the historical world of Aeritran. I admit at times early on I wondered where the story was headed, as there seemed to be a clear lack of focus. Around the half way mark, however, things started falling in place for me, and I was totally hooked. I wasn’t a big fan of the Kate, Colar drama and thought the story was strongest when he was offstage (just my personal opinion). But I LOVED the ending and would defiantly love to read the rest of the series. Although not without its flaws, I genuinely enjoyed it and would recommend to others. This is a “don’t miss” for fans of Historical fantasy.
  • Margaret of the North on Aug. 16, 2012

    I've read so many stories that end just as they were getting “good”, meaning the hero/heroine finally resolve their differences; realize they are madly in love, only to have the book end. How many times I’ve wanted to know the story AFTER the story where we can enjoy the fruits of the lovelorn characters labors. But it is not without its risks…one has to wonder when people connect and fall in love amidst all the drama and turmoil, what will their lives be like once the dust has settled? Will it be blissful, or will it be boring? Well, yes…and yes. Admittedly once Margaret’s and John’s personal and professional drama is resolved (in the story “North and South”), their relationship takes a more mundane turn, which is a bit of a mixed blessing. As much as I enjoyed experiencing this new side of Margaret, I found myself yearning for more drama. For those looking for a beautifully written novel that will revisit a story you loved, then this novel is definitely for you.
  • Sugar and Spice: A Karma Café Novella on Jan. 17, 2013

    I loved this book! The heroine Dedra was relatable and nice, and the hero, Paul seemed really sexy. They had great chemistry and the scenes with them were HOT! I only wish this short novella was much longer, because I felt like I wanted to keep reading much more!! Recommend for fans of romantic erotica.
  • Return of the Crown on Feb. 01, 2013

    This novel by Millie Burns was a lot of fun, more so than I’d expected it to be. It was full of adventure and action that kept me interested, and I liked the heroine, Ravyn. She was smart and resourceful and brave and strong. Kind of a tomboy but is relatable. Sometimes I was unclear on a few things, mainly the passage of time and where the characters were in relation to one another (far? Close?) I could never quite get a clear grasp. Also, there seemed like there were A LOT of characters but we never really got to know most of them very well. I know this is standard with fantasy books, but for me it just gets confusing at times when every page or two we are meeting new characters. But I think the plot was good and it made for an entertaining read. I recommend this book for readers aged 12 and up who like an engaging story of action and fantastical adventure.
  • The Hunt for Elsewhere on April 22, 2013

    amazing. I loved this book and immediately sent it to my daughter’s kindle to read. (She is 14, I am…not). This book has some great themes and messages that are important, and delivered in such a way that the reader has an emotional attachment with what is going on. Even though there were some tough parts, and admittedly I thought some events could have been handled with more finesse, such is life, in that everything is not all roses and rainbows. I could possible see some readers thinking there needs more action, as there are times when the story slows down to take introspective looks. However, I for one thought it added to the overall character development and enhanced the story as a whole. So I am giving this wonderful book 5 stars and look forward to reading more from this author.
  • The Seedbearing Prince: Part I on July 18, 2013

    The Seedbearing Prince was the first book I’ve read from the author DaVaun Sanders, but I assure you it won’t be the last! If the next one were out I’d be reading it right this minute! I’ve read many, many YA fantasy novels by indie authors over the past several years and I can say with all certainty that this novel ranked up there among the very best of them. Mr. Sanders writes with confidence and utilizes great word economy. I appreciated how detailed the world-building and characters were without being weighed down with excessive purple descriptions (a common flaw I find in this genre). Dayn is a likable character and it is great to see the events unfold (for the most part) from his perspective. This novel is a great addition to the YA fantasy genre, and I think adults will enjoy it too! It is a quite lengthy book, but it is worth the read.
  • The Angela Suite on March 18, 2014

    For me, this book was an unexpected surprise. At first I thought it started off a bit slow, with perhaps too much time spent on the details of the mundane. But by the end I was thoroughly caught up in Terence’s (Terry’s) whirlwind world of sex, addiction, music, and self-destructive behavior. This book is billed as an erotica novel, but there is really so much more to it than just sex. And there is plenty of that, and not your normal, run-of the-mill stuff either. It is graphic, shocking at times, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. One of the more interesting books I’ve encountered and hard to really pigeonhole into a specific category. Recommended for adults who want something different to read and who don’t offend/shock easily.
  • Gladius and the Bartlett Trial on June 01, 2014

    Wonderful! I loved this book “Gladius and the Bartlett Trials”. I’m a big fan of this genre and have read many books in it. While some parts felt a little familiar, even predictable, J.A. Paul delivers a fresh story with a voice all his own, complete with original creatures and unusual characters which is RARE for a fantasy book. It’s ALL been done, it seems! So I did appreciate the imaginative world-building that Paul implemented and the continuous action that kept us from being bored even for a minute. The names are fun, and this is one of those rare books that is geared toward a young audience (probably middle grade boys), but me, a woman in her thirties really enjoyed it. But I’ll be recommending it to my sister for her teens to read next. Recommend for those who enjoy a fun, clean fantasy adventure with good writing and unexpected humor.
  • The Sense of Touch on July 26, 2014

    I absolutely loved this! Hat’s off to the author Ron Parsons for doing something that many writers fail to do—tell good stories! It’s especially hard to do so in fewer pages than a whole novel, and despite what one may think (due to shorter length), it is actually quite difficult. I know because I’m a writer too. Your writing must be tight, focused, to the point, but also able to convey enough descriptions and actions to get the reader engaged right away. No easy task! What Mr. Parsons is able to do in less than a dozen pages with the impact of emotion and intrigue, many writers can’t do at all… It’s weird because if you were to ‘sum up’ up one of the stories it may seem simple (student unexpectedly disappears, wife leaves farmer for new life), but there are more complexities to be discovered, and things are rarely what they first seem. I feel like I could go on and on, but really just read the first few stories and see if you aren’t hooked… There is no real overt sex, violence, or language, but best suited for teens and adults due to the nature of the subject matters. Highly recommended!!!
  • Remembrance Part One: A Time For War on Feb. 20, 2015

    "Remembrance…” by A.K. Stauber packs a real punch. From the intriguing prologue, to the gut-wrenching opening chapters, we are transported back in time to another place and become a living part of history through Anushka (Anna) Krasynyk’s eyes. She is from a small town in Southeastern Poland … in the wrong place at the wrong time, so to speak. World War II is happening, and now she’s on the run for her life. We really feel her sadness, desperation, strength, and determination to survive, and I feel like I somehow learned something while reading this, like Anna and Pawel and Ditri and the other characters really gave some humanity to such an inhumane period of history. A riveting read that you won’t want to put down.
  • Field of Vision on March 17, 2015

    Beautiful, haunting, extraordinary. FIELD OF VISION is a superb novel about the search for self and survival through travel, relationships, and danger and romance. It has a slow, almost rocking pace, that will lull you into a false sense of comfort. Don’t be fooled. The only thing in my opinion that surpassed the lovely prose the author utilizes is his amazing insight into the dynamics of human interaction. While it is a beautiful, visual novel that might give you the travel bug, it'll also make you think twice… Highly recommended for mature readers.
  • Prisoner Prodigal Pawn on April 02, 2015

    I’m not one for rehashing the plot (that is what the description is for) so I’ll just say what I liked and didn’t like about this novel “Prisoner Prodigal Pawn” by Robert Sparkman. First with what I didn’t like: I thought it could use some editing, as there were times that the missing (or incorrect) punctuation was actually confusing to me and I had to re-read sections to figure out exactly what was being said. Sometimes was difficult to discern direct thoughts from the narrative, and the too-frequent use of saying character’s names in conversations was distracting (no one speaks like that in real life… it’s weird). But I loved the plot line, as it was really original and unlike anything I’ve read before. I was really invested in the character’s fates, and was surprised more than once. I thought the ending was perfect, and overall it was a genuinely good book. Recommend.
  • The Mask Maker on Aug. 25, 2015

    The Mask Maker by Ken Ulano is the first book I’ve read from this author, but I think he’ll be one to watch. I liked that he wasn’t afraid to take chances and push limits. The writing is very good—intelligent, suspenseful, descriptive and disturbingly creepy. It is pretty evenly-paced, and divided into different sections with different characters focusing on different elements of the plot. For me it got really crazy good during the last 25% or so when it all started to blow up… I did feel like ending was almost a bit anticlimactic though (what happens to Albert), and seemed kind of rushed. And I still had some questions. But overall a very good read for people who like this genre. Adults only.
  • Connecting the Dots: Man, God, Angels, and Demons on Aug. 25, 2015

    This book, “Connecting the Dots: Man, God, Angels, and Demons” by Dave Shaw was actually far more interesting and insightful than I first expected it to be (no offense to the author). I just wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for, but as I started reading I was transfixed by Mr. Shaw’s impressive knowledge of Scripture and of life in general… and the way he writes and puts it all together is very moving, eye-opening, and ultimately transformative. “Connecting the Dots…” is an absolute ‘must read’ for anyone regardless of where you are on your spiritual and life journey. I feel like Mr. Shaw does a fantastic job of relating the role of Satan, angels, and their relationship to man in an easy to digest manner, also while explaining precepts on how to live according to what God has planned. A wonderful read, a definite keeper.
  • Gol on Dec. 08, 2015

    woah, what a ride! This was a totally unexpected for me, to be honest from the description I was a little confused just what to expect, but I was intrigued by the quality of the writing sample and decided to dive right in. Well I was stunned at the level of complexity and the sheer amount of twists and turns that were in store for me … In fact, I think that “Gol” by J.W. Webb is one of the more well thought out and entertaining books I’ve read in a while. I loved how Mr. Webb writes very descriptively and with great energy and detailing. I kept wondering how it would all wrap up, and if it would work out… and (no spoilers) while I was happy with some things, I was disappointed with others, so now I need the next one ASAP! Note, this has some “adult’ scenes. Not gratuitous at all, just a fair warning.
  • The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses on Jan. 01, 2016

    well, “The Urban Boys” by K.N. Smith took me a while to read, but in the end I’d say it was worth it! I like how everything came together, and I enjoyed every page! Anyways, the themes and events that Smith writes about are done in a different way than I’m used to, very literary and metaphorical at times, which is a nice change of pace, especially for a YA action/adventure. K.N. Smith writes VERY well… very descriptive and strong and we feel like we are there almost like watching a movie or something. The editing could use a little cleaning up, but it wasn’t that bad. All the main characters are dynamic protagonists in their own way and really pull you into their world. The takeaway is satisfying, and overall a complex, almost surreal novel that pushes the boundaries of typical YA literature. Recommend!