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.
  • Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism on Nov. 20, 2013

    Wow, this book was incredible! First of all, the cover and inside pictures are GORGEOUS. Right off the bat the author had me hooked with his down-to-earth, almost “folksy” approach to a subject that is complicated and controversial at best (I’m referring to religion, not Hinduism specifically). I appreciated how the author maintained a respectful tone about other beliefs and practices, and just informed the readers what and who Hinduism was, and most importantly “why”. I didn’t understand some of the “controversies” or even why it was included…felt like another book, maybe? But there was much I gained from this book that I am actually going to read more on the subject. I’ve always considered myself spiritual, but the beliefs and practices outlined here really resonated with me for some reason. A lot just made good sense, and I’m relieved one no longer has to be “born” into the religion as it is something I plan on definitely checking out further. I’d most definitely recommend this book for anyone who is curious about other faiths and cultures and perhaps looking for a change in their own life.
  • 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 Hawk In Winter on July 08, 2015

    I didn’t expect to love this book but I did! I admit it did take some time for me to get into it as the beginning is on the slower side, some telling backstory and dense character and plot set up. But once I got into it the action picked up and kept going. Although I believe “The Hawk in Winter” is billed as a YA novel (meaning the main characters are juveniles), for some reason this book read as more adult to me. Not because of the content, just more in the voice and tone of the narrative. It just felt “older”, more intelligent with more complex plotlines… which for me is a good thing, but younger readers will enjoy it as well. There were some minor editing things.. nothing too terrible, though. Also, visually there were many paragraphs that had long chunks of text, where it probably would have been better to have it broken up some, especially for a YA book. But I liked the vivid descriptions and thought she did a great job with the world-building and character development. I was happy to see that there is a sequel available (or coming soon) and you can be sure I’ll be reading that one as well!