LE Olteano

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Smashwords book reviews by LE Olteano

  • Paradox - The Angels Are Here (Book 1) on April 11, 2011

    The first thing that I truly liked about it is the style of the writing; it instilled in me the acute sense of being present to something quite wonderful. I, for one, always love the art of the word above the more action-oriented way of writing, but I also know that there are those who value the easier to read style. For me, the writing here scores a lot of points. It’s adequate to tales of angels, demons, gods, and mighty, legendary creatures. I was especially pleased by Patti Robert‘s descriptive talents, they’re a godsend to my personal tastes; however, I will say, the ‘voices’ of the human characters could benefit from a simpler approach. Another thing that I loved, and this is always a make or break deal for me, was the “villain”-ish category of characters. If your book doesn’t have one guy that I wanna be kidnapped by, then it’s not going to really work out between us. Well, Patti Roberts has offered at least one character so far that I seriously wanna petition to have me kidnapped and taken back to his lair. I’m not going to go spoiler-y on you guys, but I’m telling you, there’s one epic hot guy in here. I am sort of sad that he isn’t featured in the story so far as much as I’d like him to, but I am hopeful that he’ll make more of an appearance in the future. I appreciate the way the book introduces you to Grace, really introduces you to her and her growing pains and difficult or better moments; you get a real, vibrant sense of who Grace really is and I suspect the entire series will benefit greatly from it. Of course, I’ll have to wait and read it all in time to be sure about it. One excruciatingly well done part was the one dealing with Grace’s loss; it felt so intensely real, that you literally have no choice but to go through it with her. There were a few moments where I felt disoriented, or slightly confused, along the way; the story has a tempo of its own, a sort of very personal beat that you have to get into. There are also a few loose ends in the story so far, not to mention The Angels Are Here ends with a major (evil) cliffhanger, but I suspect a lot will become clearer with the fallowing installments. I must say I love the cover too, it looks very, very promising. Until next volumes are available, The Angels Are Here and me have good chemistry, this is the beginning of a potentially beautiful relationship.
  • 30 Failures by Age 30 on June 25, 2011

    Oh my God! When I started reading this magnificent little jewel I had a plan: just look it over, get a general idea and leave it for a Sunday read. I failed, oh how I phailed! I just couldn’t stop reading it, and then all of a sudden, there was no more! No more of the funny, witty, touching and generally enchanting writing of Katharine Miller. “More”, my little black soul screamed, “more”! Her writing is genius, and I am going to fangirl all over this post. Oh yes I am! Structured in 30 fabulous essays, Volume 1 of, I hope, many many more, deals with all sorts of topics, ranging from health issues to the proper etiquette in nudism and being flat chested. The light, fun, and impossible to resist way she writes effectively covers a heap of “little life pleasures” many of us I’m sure have had to deal with. I will not expand on the content though, I don’t wanna spoil your read guys. Sufficient to say, if I were strand on a desert island, and I’d be sure I’d never be rescued, I’d certainly choose her essay series to keep me company till my very last moment. I mean that in the most positive way, being me, I’d be extremely picky about my last ever read. And if ever there was a way to go, that’d be giggling, I say! Though Katharine Miller hasn’t paid any 50$ fee to enter a contest (reference to one of her essays, don’t get any wacky ideas!), I do award her my most special award, the highest distinction on the fun-o-meter scale, and the all-around “tee-hee” magnificence distinction. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone and anyone to read her beautiful essays, as I sure they’ll lighten your mood, brighten your day, and make time fly by in the most pleasurable of ways. Don’t miss out on reading this, I guarantee you’ll love it to bits, just as I do.
  • Hexult on July 20, 2011

    What a refreshing idea! Literally, refreshing. With the heat tormenting me, reading about a world of ice made it all better, at least for my mind. I’ll be honest, I’m quite torn between a 3 and 4 butterflies rating. I’d give it a 4 for originality, age-appropriate tale-like structure, content and characters, but a 3 for the chemistry I had with said characters. Admittedly, I am well above it’s target; so, to make up my mind what rating I’d give it, I thought, if I had a kid, would I give him/her this book to read? And it’s a definite “YES”, something I wouldn’t quite say for some titles out there. But my reading experience does point more to the 3 segment, therefore, I rate Hexult a 3 (and a half) out of 5. The atmosphere is very much tale-like, if a bit…chilling. A world engulfed in ice, where some knowledge truly does set you apart – that setting got my full attention right from the beginning. I loved the description of the environment, it is both built and presented beautifully. The characters are interesting, especially the twins. As I kept reading, I had these flashbacks of an animated series I used to watch when I was younger, I’m not sure I remember the name, but it was about these twins traveling together, and when they’d hold hands they did some sort of Magic thing; anyway, I really loved the series, and I’ve been since a big fan of twins. It was a great pleasure for me to follow twin adventures, if I may call them so. The plot itself is quite engaging, and I could definitely see a successful movie made based on Perry Aylen‘s work, I believe it would translate into a big time success. If I could have had something different about it, I think I would have liked the characters to be a bit more…charismatic? There’s something endearing about some of them, the twins especially, but maybe someone could have been just a tad more edgy perhaps, but that’s a very personal aspect of course. As usual, I can’t keep from commenting about the cover. I love the cover, I mean, just looks at it; it’s beautiful! All thing considered, I find Hexult to be a very charming tale, that I do recommend with a dear heart. It has that sprinkle of fairytale charm that we find so little of lately.
  • All Night by the Rose on July 24, 2011

    Dear God! If I read any more fabulous short stories I might be tempted to give up reading anything else! Now, as far as styles go, this is the very original, gutsy kind. Boy, do I love that sort! But I am aware there are those that might not like this sort of writing; to those I say, to each his own. My opinion is writing, as an art form, should be gutsy, and awesomely unique, and intimately personal. The more edgy the writing style, the more personal the reading experience is. All stories are wonderfully peculiar; I couldn’t quite decide on one favorite. Words are so wonderfully put together, images so powerful, this collection is bound to leave a strong impression. You might feel disoriented, or slightly dizzy at some point, they are quite intense in my opinion, the atmosphere quite thick. It’s a crazy fun ride though, a delectable ride through the wonders of a beautifully creative mind. His voice is crystal clear, mature, assertive, and it just seduces you completely. I think I felt most touched by Janey Chu, and I deeply, deeply enjoyed Red Backed Betty and Down with Me. I believe no matter your personal preference, you will find at least one short story that will bedazzle and fascinate you. Who would I recommend this to? Well, the braver of heart, I’d say; those that are not looking for an easy, quicky feel-good read. If you’re a lover of stereotypes, you might want to look elsewhere for your literary pleasure :)
  • Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1) on July 24, 2011

    God, I loved it! It was one of those rare cases where I’m totally into it from the very beginning. I was fidgeting and giggling and “omg”-ing all the way through. I don’t know if it was the fabulous writing, light, and suggestive, and very fun, or the characters, strong, and real, and sort of mean/nasty (and you know I love the villains, always!), or the settings, lush and powerful, or the plot, original and very well built…but man, I’m in love!! Totally, irreversibly in love !! Eve (I just have to call her that :D) is a darling; with a tough history, and issues of her own stemming from her pain and loneliness, she manages to do the right thing, even when it’s really tough to do it. She’s brave, open, cute and a bit naive, but not in the annoying “Get a clue” way, in the “Omg! Adorable!” way. Her reactions to whatever it is that’s happening are always endearing, and there’s just something about Eve, you know? Obviously, the vampires are a total home-run. I mean, I have something of an innate love for them (even when they’re sparkly and eating ferrets, or something – lol), but K.A. Tucker‘s vampires aren’t on their way to sanctification. They’re beautiful, at times ruthless, vicious, stubborn, manipulative…*fangirls fangirls*, but not uncaring, not unfeeling. Though what they do care about varies from case to case, they all do care, and love someone, or something. It’s an art to build characters that are evil-ish by nature, without making them monsters, or going the totally opposite way and making them these goody good vangel things that spurt rainbows out of their ears. Of course, I love Caden; he’s nothing shy of awesome, but I even liked Rachel, and she’s nasty. I found the Mortimer/Viggo duo really amusing, and throwing in the third wheel to their chariot of awesome, Sofie, I loved their interaction, especially the conflict moments. Now, as I’ve said, the plot is really smart. There’s all kinds of fun stuff going on, witches, vampires (obviously), vampire mutants (like vamps on vamp steroids, fu~fu), werecreatures, dimensional traveling, curses, goods smuggling, fighting (the yummy kind, that keeps you focused on the nature of both fighters)…I mean, this is like YA heaven! You know, if there were vampires and witches and vampire mutants, and werecreatures and stuff there…[I'm sure there are!] What I didn’t like about this novel is the fact that it ends. No, seriously, I hated that part. Couldn’t it just go on? Just a few hundred pages more…is that so much to ask? And this is the reason I do my best to avoid reading books that are volume 1 of the series until at least volume 2 and maybe 3 are out as well. I can’t deal with waiting for a tortuously long time (and it always is, tortuously long) for book 2, and 3, and so on to come out. I wanna read them, now!! Eh…cr-cram. So, as I was saying…a definite must-read. Go ahead, read it now, I need to have people to share the misery with while I’m waiting for the next book! All in all, K.A. Tucker‘s Anathema gets the highest rank on my fangirl-o-meter, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to paranormal romance lovers, and YA lovers, this one is pure gold!
  • Monster Story on July 30, 2011

    Yummy, yummy horror story. I hadn’t realized how much I did miss horror stories until I read McCarty Griffin‘s writing. Rich, descriptive, suggestive, McCarty Griffin‘s world sweeps you off your feet, and you find yourself right there, in the middle of that forest, waiting for the non-romanticized monster to feed on you, instead of romancing you (the more popular outcome of meeting a were-thing). Don’t get me wrong, I love it when the monster romances you too, but every once in a while, it’s good for the bloodthirsty beast thingy to be just that, bloodthirsty. Puts things in perspective a bit, you know? The key element in any horror-related type of thing, be it movies, novels or images, is the mood setting, the atmosphere. This is the brilliant part of Monster Story, it sets the mood superbly. This, to me, was the strongest point of the read. From an easy, fairytale like scenery, morphing gradually into a horrifying scene, this world is quite captivating, despite some stereotypes that do float around, like the small-town related things for instance. But stereotypes, a much hated instrument for some, are effective in one thing, they capitalize on all previous suggestions, they’re quite effective if you’re not actively fighting them off, all the time, every time. I liked the way the plot developed; it could have gone any way, really. It could have become a classic paranormal romance, it could have become a truly horrific tale, or just a mild cautionary story. The buildup was there, and it could have been steered into any direction. When it did take a clear and final turn towards horror, it did so smoothly but effectively. Over all I can say I have enjoyed it quite a bit; I wouldn’t say I’m in love with it, but I really did like it. If you’re into thrilling horror, by all means give this a try, it’s a beautiful exponent of the genre. (And, that cover is super-kicka$$! Love it!)
  • Half-Inch on July 30, 2011

    Ahh…this one was actually sort of fun, in a dark, morbid sort of way. Half-Inch makes use of some stereotypes we’ve talked about earlier, in a much similar clever way. They just work wonderfully with a criminal twist, what can I say? The strange and interesting mix of crime and chick-lit with a pinch of humor is quite memorable, the story quite engrossing. I was totally into it from the first page. The thought processes of Pammy were very fun to follow; of course, there were moments when I felt like strangling Bobby myself, and I will be honest, what happens to him in the end isn’t lawfully justified by any means, but in the deep, dark part of my little black heart, I sort of felt like he kind of deserved it…a bit :D What I found most amusing was the irony of it all; Pammy tries to set herself free, and ends up being “captive” of her own doings. Poetic justice goes a long way, I guess. If you don’t mind a bit of a violent end to a bit of a violent story, then you should give this a try. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
  • The Tribe on July 30, 2011

    his one, I loved. Of course, I might be biased, I’m a big time cat-lover :) This is a quick read and a joy, a real page turner. Very original, and most entertaining, it gives voice to those that are often the silent part of the tale, in this case, cats. I loved their tribe-chemistry and their diverse and charming personalities. Their clever, witty and banter-y sort of way of managing whatever happens strikes me as a really good take on cats, in general. I can totally visualize their conversations going as McCarty Griffin portrays them. The ‘two-legs’ were almost as endearing as the cats. Almost :D Another proof of McCarty Griffin‘s talent to bring together humor and unique, original perspectives on things, this little darling of a read had me giggling pretty much all the way through. (And, I just have to say, the cover is completely adorable!) I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys a short, light hearted, fun and entertaining read, and animal lovers such as myself will surely enjoy it thoroughly.