Laura Johnson


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Smashwords book reviews by Laura Johnson

  • Legends of Marithia: Book 1 - Prophecies Awakening: Uncut and Extended Second Edition on Aug. 24, 2012

    I received a free copy from the author in return for a review, so here it is! :) What do you get when you add magic, dragons, treason, prophecies, and (surprisingly) vampires? A enjoyable and fresh fantasy world. The dragon lore and world-building was well-done, although sometimes the jumps to different scenes (flashbacks, visions/"spying", etc.) was a bit disorienting, and I found the prophecies a touch on the cheesy/obvious side. I like my prophecies cryptic, with multiple meanings, so that I can look back at them later and go, "Oh! Damn, that was clever" and be hypothesizing throughout the story. Still, the book earned a solid 4 stars. Kassina (our vampire villainess) is deliciously wicked (and with a healthy sexual appetite, hehe!), and Vartan is an easy-to-like character whose POV I enjoyed following.The idea of dragon reincarnation fascinates me, and I look forward to seeing how Vartan will cope with his relationship with the princess should he become a dragon The artwork in the book was a nice treat. Kudos to all the artists for the gorgeous images.
  • Aphrodite's Call (Pool of Souls Series, Book 1) (Novella) on April 24, 2013

    I won a free copy of this book from the author; here is my honest review. Open House is a short novella in which two young soul mates, Rebecca and Robert, are match-made by the Goddess Aphrodite after years of being apart and not realizing they had highschool crushes on each other; however, Aphrodite's lover, Ares, has other plans that might tear them apart forever. I'll be straight up - this book gets 2.5 stars from me, but not quite high enough to round up to Goodreads' 3 stars. I wanted to love this book--I really did. It seemed to have a great premise. I'm a huge fan of mythology, and I was intrigued by Aphrodite being a matchmaker for soul mates. Her conflict with Ares, God of War, seemed like it might pose disastrous for the lovers. However, I felt that the bonding of Rebecca and Robert demanded a larger plot arc than was developed here. I just didn't feel enough conflict. Sure, there are a few small obstacles, but they were resolved without much difficulty. Even with these minute speedbumps, the conflict was all external -- there was not a single moment of doubt in my mind that Robert and Rebecca were going to be okay in the end despite Aphrodite mentioning that souls that are almost bonded but then separated are forever incapable of finding each other. I wanted to see their relationship develop (ex. maybe Robert says something stupid because of Ares that pushes Rebecca away and Aphrodite has to find a way to make to prevent them from messing up, or something). Instead, they meet and then all they can think about is making love 24/7. I wanted to see more of their personal and professional lives clashing, of what their friends think of the relationship, of what their family thinks, maybe. Ares' interference could have done so much more. The struggle between Aphrodite and Ares was much more interesting; it seemed that they were the main players, not Robert and Rebecca. If this was the intent, however, I didn't feel that Aphrodite and Ares got enough of a stage. I liked the descriptions of Aphrodite's realm but still felt there could have been more development. Open House was a quick read overall (it's 60 pages), although it took me a while to finish because I wasn't super hooked by it, unfortunately.(less)