Katja Rinne

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Smashwords book reviews by Katja Rinne

  • Kept (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Blood Lust, novella 1) on March 21, 2011
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    I've never read a novella before in my life. Short stories yes, novels yes, but never a novella. This one was a pleasant one to be my first. There was some problems with the first chapter, that made it a bit confusing and I had to re-imagine several things, because they were told so late in the story, that I already had thought something myself. Overall I liked the plot, story and writing very much though. Some unnecessary portraying was going on especially at the start, but the writing got better and better towards the end. Want to read the other ones too.
  • Blood Lust (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Preternaturals Book 1) on March 25, 2011
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    The first one, Kept, has maybe the most interesting setting of the three, introducing therians (were animals, so not just cats and wolves, which would’ve been a bit awkward) to us and mixing it with sorcery. The protagonist Greta is a werecat – really, the house-cat cat, and as it’s told to us in the blurb she has a grim future unless she does something: “…whose tribe plans to sacrifice her during the next full moon. Her only hope for survival is Dayne, a sorcerer who once massacred most of the tribe.” Kept had a lot of weaknesses in the beginning of the novella, mainly because it introduced such new concepts to the paranormal world, that when things weren’t properly explained when they were introduced, you already had imagined something of your own to fill the blanks, until they were told to be actually something very different. One example being this werecat thing. I seriously couldn’t first believe it was a normal cat, so I pictured a panther, until this was shattered a bit further down the story. Also I thought it was just a normal city, until it was made clear there’s a wall going around it. Even though Kept has the most intriguing story of the three, it’s also the weakest one. The flow isn’t quite right – hard to explain really, but some of the things go too slow and then the things you expect to be major and written more about, are over so fast you don’t quite comprehend it even. This is an issue also in Claimed, the second novella in the book. Claimed goes a bit more into the love child of all paranormal writers, vampires. However I do love the fact, that for once the protagonist female, Charlee, doesn’t want to be one, it’s quite refreshing and her attitude towards vampires and the life they lead seems a bit more healthy than what you usually see in these kind of stories. I liked the beginning and middle of the novella more than I liked the ending. Not to be misunderstood: I loved the choice Charlee made, but the writing in the end just wasn’t as good. I guess the tournament was a hard one to write, but it felt very rushed for me. Especially the first round left me disappointed, since there was so much that could’ve been done with it. Compared to Kept it was better with the storytelling, but lost a bit in the originality and the rushed end. In the third novella, Mated, Winters binds together some lose ends from the first story and I think it actually makes up for some of the bad things in Kept. On the other hand it takes some of the good feelings from Claimed away without really explaining why. Ok, it was shortly given some explanation to Paul’s behavior, but it seemed so out of character compared to what he was like in claimed. Also the relationship between Charlee and Anthony doesn’t seem that deep anymore, and that makes me feel a bit sad about them. The female lead, Jane though is very much as she was in Claimed and the transition to tell her tale was very smooth. And I like how Winters shifted the view of werewolves very naturally without breaking the world introduced in the previous novellas. Having already read the blurb for the next part of the series it’s clear some of the stuff in Mated are there to lay some groundwork for Save My Soul, but it’s not forcibly added, but seems like genuine and meaningful part of the story. That might be the thing I like most about these stories: when you come to the end of the story, you still get the same feeling about being in the same world, and characters are not forgotten, even though some might have changed. Anyway, I consider Mated to be the best one of the three stories in Blood Lust, with very fluid writing and Winters not being afraid to get her characters to do hard choices. She makes them more real, and not all goody goodies. Also mated doesn’t have that rushed feeling in any part of it. One thing that did bother me a bit, was that all of the three woman protagonist were mostly presented as victims who needed to be saved by a man. Then again the stories would’ve been very different if that wasn’t the case. For all you who like to read paranormal stories, I full-heartedly recommend these into your to-be-read pile.
  • Hush Money (Talent Chronicles) on March 27, 2011
    star star star star
    Think about Heroes goes high school and you got a pretty good image what the book is like. The story shifts telling the story from both Joss’s and Dylan’s point of view. Jocelyn, Joss, is a young girl trying to live her life not getting noticed, since if someone would discover she has a Talent, she would be transfered to a prison like state school – it’s made pretty clear, that it’s anything but pleasant there. Making the loneliness a life style choice Joss tries to stay out of trouble, but it sure seems to find her. She also become friends with Kat – another Talent – when the girl pushes herself into Joss’s life. Most of the kids seem to be Talents, so the reactions described in the beginning seems a bit odd. It’s told to us though, that Fairview does have more Talent kids than other places, but it’s not referred to after that, and you’re left wondering what’s behind it. Dylan is about to get himself in a lot of trouble, mainly because of his friend, Marco – the story’s bad guy, the one already over the edge. He and his friends are using their Talents to enhance their criminal career. The relationship between Dylan and Marco was quite believable and it was well developed during the book. Some things in the book were all but subtle, and it leaves the taste, that the students might not really be the brightest ones out there. For example the thing with the counselor didn’t really come as a surprise, when it was revealed. I loved the way Bischoff made some of her secondary characters, them being more than just props, and especially the way she wrote the main antagonist, him being much more than your ordinary bully. That said, other characters would’ve needed more work with how they came off in the story, one being the counselor. The book starts promising, weaving several plots and you just can’t wait to find the answer to some of them. That’s why it’s such a disappointment, that you don’t really get any, the most interesting plot twists never get opened up or followed more. The end of the book felt more like it should be the middle of it. I guess the fact, that the book is part of series makes it so, but even when that’s the case the book left a bit of an unfinished feeling. Wouldn’t annoy too much, if the next book was out yet, but there’s not even a release date for it. Bischoff is a talented storyteller though and I enjoyed reading Hush Money, and I do think it’s well worth it’s price. Some people may want to wait until the next part of the series is out also.
  • Save My Soul (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Preternaturals Book 2) on March 30, 2011
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    I loved Save My Soul. Zoe Winters has amazingly polished her writing and the story flows smoothly through the whole book. The plot is set up brilliantly and things you thought were just fillers in the story gets picked up later. In the end there’s several twists, each one of them making you speed up your reading to see what happens next. I have to admit, I did not see THAT coming. In the beginning we get to know Anna, who after her fathers death returned to the town she grew up in. With a heritage she doesn’t really need to worry about money, so she buys a house she loved as a kid and settles in. Anna is not one to believe in ghosts and magic, but when it becomes evident, that she’s not alone in the house with her cats the story starts to unfold. We’re introduced with Luc, the sexy incubi, who can’t leave the house. Tam, Anna’s childhood friend, coming back into her life. Horrifyingly realistic nosy neighbors, more demons, priests, hookers, gypsies, a van that plays the ghostbusters theme. The range of the secondary characters is astounding and all of them so well written. Makes you wonder which one Winters will pick to be the heroine in her next book – asuming she still continues with the same fictional world. I guess it would be Tam, though one of the hookers would be a really interesting choice to read about. And when you’re reading a book where there’s an incubi, you should know to be ready for some steamy moments. All the sexual tension and sex scenes are – as the rest of the book – very well written and leaves you with a craving. The scenes don’t feel misplaces as they can in some books – in Save My Soul they have a rightfully claimed spot. I can’t find anything real to criticize and I might end up repeating myself, but it’s just that good. There was only one minor thing with Anna’s thoughts about Cecelia Townsend, that snapped me out of the book when I read it, because it seemed to be contrary to what had been told to us just a bit earlier. Anyway Save My Soul is a great book. Go read it. :)
  • Forsaken By Shadow on May 01, 2011
    star star star star star
    I love the beginning of this novella, even if ultimate fighters aren’t really my thing (I can only think about them getting chipped teeth, and that’s not very sexy). Cade Shepherd (whom I will call Cade in this review all the way to avoid missunderstandings) wakes up, not remembering anything from his past. He builds a new life as a successful ultima fighter. That world gets shaken, when Embry Hollister appears with his memories. Cade gets sucked back into a paranormal world with shifters and magic. Embry’s reasons for helping Cade get back his memories, has nothing to do with him though. She only needs Cade’s help to rescue his father from the U.S. military, and she’s going to take all the memories away again, when the job is done. This is the first story in the Mirus series. The plot kept me reading the novella in one sit (kept me up to the wee hours, bad Kait Nolan, bad!), and after I was done I had to fight the urge to start with the next Mirus story right away. I loved Cade and Embry, I loved the Mirus world, the writing was smooth, and I hate it was just a novella, since I would have wanted more. But it was the perfect lenght for the story. Nolan has managed to build a gripping world, that leaves you craving for more. If you haven’t read Forsaken by Shadow yet, and you’re into paranormal romance, I strongly recommend it.
  • Devil's Eye on May 01, 2011
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    Loved it. Possibly even more than Forsaken by Shadow. Read it. :)
  • Blindsight:: A Mirus Short Story on May 01, 2011
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    Short and sharp. I really want to here how Isla's story continues.
  • The Mind Readers, Book 1 on May 05, 2011
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    I was very taken by the books blurb, and I was eager to see what Brighton had done with mind reading. Also the cover is purely gorgeous. Even though I enjoyed the story, there was several things I disliked in it. Right in the beginning I had a hard time relating with Cameron, and understanding why she even wants to be friends with Emily. All the possible reasons are shallow, and it doesn’t make her any more likeable. The beginning of the book had a lingering feeling on it and I would have liked it to continue to the end of the book. Unfortunately after Cameron leaves with Lewis, the pace speeds up, and I felt like missing lots of potentially interesting stuff. In my opinion it would have done the book good, if Cameron being with the other mind readers and learning her skills would have gotten more space in the book. The amount of happenings in the end makes it feel a bit rushed and we’re introduced to characters we never really get to know at all. At first I got a bit Edward vibes from Lewis, but he proves to be a bit more crookier than that. I did like the complexity of the character, and I felt sorry for Cameron for falling for him. I loved how Brighton made it all make sense later, why Cameron had so easily trusted him in the beginning. What it comes to other characters, I think Brighton is a bit too fond of stereotypes. But I think the antagonist was relatively well done, and I liked the twist at the end. I don’t know really. I want to read some reviews from true teenagers about this one, since it seems to me, that there’s some YA books that I like very much, and then there’s some like this, that doesn’t do it for me at all. I found Cameron to be shallow and childish most of the time, and actually the only character I found likable was Caroline, and her we don’t really see that much. For me there was also lots of things, that I just couldn’t believe, for example why didn’t her grandmother teach her how to shut others out (wouldn’t that have saved them from a lot of trouble?), and then the “dorm” in the cellar (can’t say more without spoiling). Mostly this book made me frustrated, since the story had so much potential, but it ended up just annoying. I had no trouble finishing the book though, since even with all the things that annoyed me, the story itself kept me reading, and I wanted to know how it ends. I liked the “Six Months After” bit, and I might read the sequel, if it ever gets published. Apparently the first book takes rounds in N.Y. with editors at the moment, so might be a while if it goes to traditional publishers. I think this is a nice book for teenagers who can really relate to Cameron, but others might have some difficulties to truly enjoy it.
  • Across The Galaxy on June 01, 2011
    star star star star
    There’s not that much YA sci-fi novels mainly meant for the female audience, so this was a refreshing find. The story does have a very fantasy feeling to it though, so I wouldn’t say it’s strictly sci-fi. The story is quite straight forward and doesn’t bring any major surprises, but the book is still very enjoyable and doesn’t really seem as long as it is. When I finished I could have easily continued reading. I thought the heroine in the book, Alina, was very likable – and a coffee lover. The coffee addict part makes me smile, since seriously – every YA heroine I read about LOVES coffee and NEEDS it to wake up. I think coffee drinking is the most common part writers bring about themselves into their characters. It’s not a bad thing though! If a character hated coffee, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it. Ander is the main love interest (I don’t think this is too spoilery, since it’s quite obvious very early), and I did think he was nice enough, he did seem incapable of having a real conversation with Alina if it wasn’t at night, when he woke Alina from her sleep. And I got really mad at him at one point, when he keeps quiet about a think I would’ve thought to be quite important to Alina to know. It made him very ‘human’ though, and thus much more believable, so I think it was a good move from the author to make him stay quiet. I wasn’t that understanding about Alina’s understanding though – or why the ones who knew it decided it was more important to keep Ander’s secret than tell Alina. (This will make more sense when you read the book!) I would have wished more depth on some of the characters and I think we got introduced quite many by name, that wasn’t really needed. One of these was Alina’s human friend, who we got to know quite well in the beginning of the book, but isn’t really mentioned after that. There was some weaknesses in the plot, but nothing that would have wanted me to toss the book away or scream “that’s stupid!” – just some things that I think was a bit easy way out of the tricky place. Also other thing when Alina had done something earlier, but didn’t do it again in a similar situation and we don’t get explained why it wasn’t something she could do there also. I love how Hildenbrand manages to create whole new planets and races, and how she makes it all so alive and vivid. I could sense the green coolness of Bardawulf and the scorched dead environment the shadows had left behind them. I loved how we got introduced to a race, that they don’t like outsider, and they act like it instead of being something totally different just because the heroine is there. I love how Gliese is described and I really hope I will get to read a future book about it, to witness it’s glory. This book is a great read to all YA readers. If you’re not into sci-fi, do not let that scare you! This book has a very fantasy feeling to it and anyone into YA urban fantasy would love it. I suggest you go get yourself a copy right away!
  • Six Moon Summer on Aug. 05, 2011
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    I got this book as an ebook ARC. Story: Being stuck between divorcing parents isn't fun, but Rylie sure would prefer that instead of the summer camp she's sent to. Little did she know, that the camp would change her life forever. Rylie is being picked on by her cabin mates, and one night she escapes to the woods, wishing to get away. She blacks out, not remembering much, but wakes up in her own cot, back in the camp. Soon she realises something has changed, and she doesn't know what to make out of it. When Seth gets in contact with Rylie, she learns she was attacked by a werewolf. With the help of her new friend Rylie tries to cope with the changes she's gradually going through, and desperately tries to figure out a cure. In three months she would be real werewolf. Writing: Six Moon Summer has a pleasant flow in it, and the language is well fit for the YA audience. The book is first tuned with some insight what will happen at the end of the book, and it sets a dooming atmosphere for the tale. I don't know why, but I had kind of a twin-peaksy feeling while reading because of it (and it's a good thing). There are some inconsistencies in the book, some regarding Rylie and her dad, some about the cure. Hard to get into details without being too specific. Nothing major though, so they wont affect your reading experience too much. I give Reine extra credit about how vivid the scenes with Rylie in her wolf form were. I loved those parts. I suspect Reine has first-hand experience about being a werewolf. Main character: I did not like Rylie, but she is very real. I think teenagers can relate to her more, but at times I just wanted to smack her out of it. Your parents are divorcing, big deal, get over it already! She's not even that close with her mother, nor does she seem to like her, so why does she care they're having a divorce? Instead she chooses to be a little bastard and ends up ruining a potentially great experience. But as I said, as much as she annoyed me, I thought she was very realistic. As a teenager the world revolves around you and everything that happens is bigger than life, and everyone is there ruining it for you. I liked Rylie more and more, when the wolf side started to affect her. As a character Rylie is interesting to get to know. You'd think that when you don't like a character, you don't really want to read about her, but this was different. It was obvious Rylie was changing and I as a reader got to be part of it. It was fascinating, and now I have a love/hate relationship towards her. Anyway it's lovely to see a character evolving through the story. Secondary characters: The other characters are quite dim in the book. Even Seth - who's the biggest secondary character - comes off a bit flat, though I liked what Reine had done with him otherwise. The revelation about Seth came to me as a surprise, and looking back I could just think "duh, I should have guessed". Also the bullies were quite one-dimensional, and I wish Reine would have done something more with them. Sure they picked on Rylie, but that was about it. I would have loved to get to know more about Cassidy. She and Rylie barely talk to each other though, so now she was just some weird hang-around and filler, when she could've been so much more. We don't see much of Rylie's parents, but I seriously doubt their affection towards their daughter. Rylie loses all her things during the werewolf attack, including her asthma pipe, and they don't get it sorted out immediately? Sure they have the divorce going on, but a girl with asthma in the middle of the woods, it's about life and death there, so get that asthma pipe to her! The antagonist was easy to guess, but I had a hard time figuring out what the werewolf was trying to do while at human form, since the behaviour was quite weird at times and somewhat conflicting with the agenda. From the minor characters Louise was my favourite, and I felt for her. The author took time to introduce her to us properly, so it feels Louise actually counts in the book, and at least I cared what would happen to her. Reine is otherwise a strong, good writer, but I think the minor characters are a bit of a struggle for her. Overall: My experiences with werewolf books are minimal, but I think it usually goes that the werewolf is either a monster or the hot love interest. I love that Reine chose to make her protagonist - Rylie - the howling beast instead. Reine has also made her own rules about the werewolf mythology; it's unique and refreshing. This is a great book for all you YA lovers, who are looking for something totally new to read.
  • After Eden (Fallen Angels, Book 1) on March 27, 2012
    star star
    From the blurb I figured the book is very much what I like to read, so I had high expectations for it. The beginning of the book was promising, but it watered down from there. Around the middle I got the impression the author was a bit lost and didn’t exactly know where she was going with it — to be short, it was rather boring without any real context or connection to the actual plot. In some ways the middle seems to be part of a fully different book than the beginning and end. Pine got the story back together for the grand finale, and in my opinion she did a good job with it. I do think the blurb promised a bit more than what the book delivered. Though it is a series, so we might get more of that on the latter books. However the main event on this book wasn’t getting his brother back. Devi was a likable enough lead character and Pine managed to make her a believable hot and cold teenager without being too annoying. Kim — Devi’s best friend — brought a little spice, but she was kind of forgotten after the first half of the book. Oz is a strange but nice guy demon who seems to do a lot of things for the sake of the plot, rather than for his personality. The premises was an interesting take on the Christian mythology — devout believers be aware, that it might be offensive to you. I wish some things would have been explained a bit more in the book, since for example I had to go and google the difference between spirit and soul to fully understand what was going on. I think the story has a lot of potential, but it’s quite clear it wasn’t ready for publishing and still requires editing. For example there’s a scene where Devi and Oz goes to have some pancakes and after they’ve ordered their delicious carb bombs, they are suddenly back in Oz’s car driving to the pancake place. To be honest I thought quite often, that I’d just mark this book as DNF, but I stuck through it. I think the author has talent, but this novel could’ve used a lot more work.
  • Vampire Assassin (Jane #1) on March 31, 2012
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    The novella begins with Jane on a job assignment, but the book is more about how did Jane become a vampire assassin in the first place. Vampire Assassin is a quick and entertaining read. Usually I like to read a fair amount of dialogue, but even though it’s scarce in this one, it didn’t really bother me. Jane is someone you can empathize with, the storytelling keeps you turning pages and it’s over all too soon. It’s a complete story however and the shortness only bothers, because Warren has painted such an intriguing world and main character with her words, that you end up craving for more. At some points it did feel like it would’ve been nice to hear more about the adventures of Jane and Steven — Steven being her love interest and soulmate in the story.
  • Of Æther and Æon (Short Story) on April 07, 2012
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    It’s first to be noted, that this is truly a short story. It’s probably shorter than you think. That said, it’s awesome and I’m sad that it was as short as it was. It’s a nice nibbling bite into steampunk, leaving you crave for more. Grey’s style of writing is intense and engaging and even in the short span of the story, you connect with the characters. I’m looking forward in reading some longer works by Grey.
  • Anathema - Cloud Prophet Trilogy, Book 1 on April 10, 2012
    star star star star
    Lately I’ve been reading books without reading the blurb first. It’s weirdly refreshing when you have absolutely no idea where the book will go from the start. Granted I had heard that Anathema is part of Cloud Prophet Trilogy, so I rightly assumed the heroine is a cloud prophet, but that was it. That said I had heard lots of praises of this book and the cover is amazing – one of my favourite indie book covers ever. I loved the start of the novel, since it was hectic and promising me quite the ride through the story, but the pace did slow down quite a lot after the beginning. I’m not saying it’s bad, but just a bit different from what I was expecting. At the end we get a bit more action, so it wasn’t all gone. Jensen has done a great job building the world up little by little in the book. I liked her writing style quite much. Even so there was two things that bothered me in the book and because they both affected the plot it dragged down the rating. Neither was world breaking, but did help the plot and simplify things with character stupidity. (I can’t elaborate these in fear of spoiling.) Reychel was a heroine I could easily sympathize with. She was smart, emotional, caring, strong minded and not a push-over. And she didn’t worship the ground under her love interest, but saw his flaws also, which I think is a major plus in the book. Ivy came out a bit schizophrenic, but I guess that was the intention I believe. Johna I loved as Reychel’s mentor, even though she’s part of one of the things that bothered me in the book. Overall the Jensen has created lots of multi-dimensional characters I enjoyed reading about, and even though the plot was easy enough to figure out there was also some twists that weren’t that easy to see. Definitely the start of the book was a lot stronger than how it carried on, but I still think this is a great read for every YA lover who wants to spice their reading list with a bit of fantasy. Jensen has created an intriguing world and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.
  • Tearing Honor on April 10, 2012
    star star
    This book had a lot of potential to be a great read in my eyes; historical setting, nun turning to witchcraft, brother as a templar knight going on a crusade. Long lost siblings finding each others, just so their worlds would clash and them to turn on each others. I really wanted to like this book and for what I knew about it, I really thought I would. The beginning was very promising, but when it got to the point, where we meet Juliana (the sister) as a twelve year old nun things take a turn for the worse. Ready to step into the role the convent’s abbedissa had prepared her as an almoner and on her first sick visit Juliana has an epiphany when the old man tells her to live her life and not live it for others. After the visit it over she wanders off and buys a manuscript saying Wicca in the the title. I don’t know much about historical facts, but it really seemed odd to me, that a twelve year old nun at the time would carry that much money with her – especially on a sick visit. I swallowed it for the story’s sake, since the girl would turn into witchcraft, so she had to learn it from somewhere. His brother Clement is trained as a knight and signs up to be a templar knight. It’s stated that he’s been one with God since he tried to drown his newborn sister (because his father told him they would have to give her up) and been a very good christian since then. When he first heard about templar knights and what they do (turn heretics into christian by the force of the sword) he has been determined to want to be part of them. And yet he doubts their way of life (killing people and be religious at the same time) already during the same evening. For me the characters weren’t real at all. The best written one might have been the abbedissa in the convent, but we don’t see her that much. The dialogue is stiff and has some modern sayings mixed in it. The biggest reason why I didn’t like the book though, was that everything was told. The author uses telling instead of showing as her technique, and it just doesn’t work. Also there’s lots of info dumps – in a way they’re nice tidbits about historical times, but doesn’t fit the book. I think this would be great if a storyteller was telling it by the camp fire, but as a novel it just doesn’t work. It took me a long time to finish the novel and for a while I thought I wouldn’t, but in the end it’s a fast read. By all means do sample it and see for yourself – maybe you like it. The book was proofread and clean to read, so it’s better than lots of others out there. I’m afraid I don’t really know who to recommend this one to. And those who are wondering, the witchcraft is what it historically was (mixing some herbs is what’s used in the book), so don’t expect any magic.
  • The Ghost Hunter on April 15, 2012
    star star star
    Some books just take me forever to read even when there’s nothing particularly wrong with them. This one I read for almost three months last year — I guess it was just too average to keep me entertained and turning pages. It reminds me a lot of romance slush novels, just with a paranormal twist, which might be the reason, since I’ve overdosed on those during my teens and require a bit more from the books I read nowadays. That said the book did have a plot, did have secrets, mystery and a dark past — but it was all dragged on too long and it wasn’t hard to know what would happen next. The book is set in the idyllic countryside of England, where Ashley arrives to take care of the inn she’s inherited. Ashley has the ability to see and talk to ghosts, which has landed her in a mental institution before. She struggles with ignoring the ghosts, since there’s plenty of them in the inn and finally caves in. Ashley is a likable enough heroine. Can’t say the same about Christian though. The love interest annoying guy who refuses to leave and whose dialogue is to my annoyance written with an accent (seriously can’t stand those). Also trigger warning for those who hate heroes who can’t take no for an answer (although Christian’s reason is, that he’s on a mission). However I did like “The Ghost Hunter” and it’s not a bad book. It gets more interesting about halfway through. I’d say those who enjoy slushy paranormal romance as guilty pleasure or whatever, will find this enjoyable as well. And as it’s free nowadays, I’d say go get it.
  • Hollowland on April 15, 2012
    star star star star
    Humans infected with zombie virus, epic road trip, doomsday cult, death, blood, ooze – Hollowland has it all, with the spice of some drama and little romance. I selected this book to be my first ever eBook and I can’t say I regret the choice. The beginning sentence: “This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.” is widely quoted on the reviews of this book, but it’s such a marvelous way to start this story, that I can’t but join them. From that sentence on the book takes you to a fast spaced journey with the heroine Remy, to find her brother, through a devastated land. Hope is scarce and survival hard. I like strong female characters in books and Remy surely doesn’t need saving; she’s the one taking care of others. The Author has succeeded in making the character likable, yet not too perfect. I would’ve liked to see a bit more depth in her, but then again the fast pace throughout the novel didn’t really leave that much time to dig into the characters thoughts. Not necessarily a bad thing, since the story worked great as it was. More so I really missed some clarification to some secondary character motivations and I think the author left many of the supporting roles disappointingly shallow, when there was potential to so much more. I’d especially would have liked to learn what Lia was thinking and what was her reasoning – I had to go back in the book to double check if I had skipped a page by mistake, since it was never addressed. It’s easy to guess what’s the thing with Remy’s brother – I was sure of it from the start – but knowing it doesn’t diminish the reading experience. Even though it might be clear for the reader, it’s not hard to believe, that the secondary characters don’t know about it before Remy confides in them. On the other hand there was some surprises in the plot, mostly things that I expected to happen and they never did, partly this also made me wonder why some of the characters were even introduced, since they didn’t really add any real spice the story. Hollowland is a solid book with a good story in it, so to all you who love your dose of zombies, go get it!
  • Impulse Control (Talent Chronicles) on April 15, 2012
    star star star star
    It's a nice shortie to have after the first Talent Chronicles book. I actually like it better than book #1. Hoping to see some of these characters on book #2.
  • Bittersweet on June 05, 2012
    star star
    Phaedra lives alone with her kid sister and her crazy mother (who’s locked away to the attic so she wouldn’t injure or kill her daughters). She’s trying to handle school and keep social services away. All this while she has a doomed future of ending up like her mother, since her case of telekinesis has the nasty side-effect of the crazies. When Phaedra’s long lost (well he left) brother returns with a questionable cure to their mother’s (and Phaedra’s) condition, the book takes a turn to worse. Phaedra proves to be a whiny self-centered bastard who thinks she’s all high and mighty. In my eyes Bittersweet had lots of problems, but the story was somewhat interesting and kept me reading. I didn’t like the main character Phaedra at all, the mystery presented in the beginning of the book had no real effect to the plot and was simply explained in the end. The secondary characters were flat without any real meaning — you see Phaedra’s friends in the beginning and they swoon over her brother and then they’re pretty much forgotten. Also sad to say, Bittersweet is in dire need of editing. There’s lots of typos and some very weird word choices as “manicured eyebrows” that snapped me out of the story. The story had some good potential in the midway of the plot, when things really started happening, but the new crew that emerged was just blah and the explanation for the group of kids hunting hags didn’t hold water. Since a big part of the story was that the mother is crazy and that’s what awaits Phaedra in the future as well, I think it’s fair to ponder about that a bit also. We learn that having sex with an incubus works like medicine against the condition, but in a fleeting moment it’s mentioned that also having a hysterectomy would cure you fully. Even so it’s passed as a no-go option because Phaedra thought her mother would not approve of her having one at the age of seventeen. So hmm… option 1) losing myself and be a violent crazy option 2) get rid of my uterus and continue being sane Which would you choose? The hysterectomy cure was apparently known before her brother popped up with the questionable antidote. And so we come to that. Since being crazy was a better option than hysterectomy, it’s no surprise, that having sex with an incubus that your brother and mom are already sexing up is a better option as well. Phaedra would totally do it with the incubus if her mother told her so (seriously). The end of the book was tightly done and best part of the book, and I can’t shrug off the feeling, that if the author would just have polished the beginning a bit more, it would’ve been so much better. I don’t know… I think this review came off a bit snarky, but I feel frustrated, since I wanted to like the book and it just left me shaking my head. I do think some readers might enjoy this book, so if the points I mentioned wouldn’t bother you, do give it a chance.
  • How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months on March 08, 2013
    star
    I thought this to be a nice insight of how he did it and liked it when I read it. I've since learned it's pretty much lies, since he's bought a big chunk of his five star reviews and it makes me wish I could get a refund on this.