Lynxie

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Smashwords book reviews by Lynxie

  • No Rules Of Engagement on Feb. 10, 2012

    What can i say about 'No rules of engagement' that will encourage you to read it? It reminded me of a slightly less articulate and mentally slower sibling (the kind that gets pushed to the back of photos) to Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card . Not as polished, not as exciting or well written, but the general idea of it was there (aliens, space fighting, lots of children dragged across the universe to fight an adults war... you get the gist) My main issues with this book were the editing within the .mobi version I got from Smashwords, there was a point approx. 58% of the way through (Where he's quoting from the bible) where the text colour changes from black to this lighter grey and I seriously thought that my kindle was dying for a second until I opened another book and confirmed it was just this book. (FYI, it continues all the way to the start of Chapter 19). Other editing issues included missing words, incorrect use of words, or mixed order of words in sentences. they said it was a standardized test. First the questions were way to hard, and then... Missing the second o in too. Similar instances included it instead of it's, your instead of you're, except instead of accept and the list goes on. These just added to the many, many small but noticeable and quite frustrating editing/spelling/grammar mistakes. 1 full star lost to that. I also had huge issues with the POV changing from first to third person mid scene, hell, even mid sentence! "Please give it a try, Sir." Captain Bratten said to me as he held the door open to one of the balls. Alexander climbed in and shut the door. Editing and spelling issues aside here, probably the most disturbing thing about this book is the age of Alexander and the very adult situations he was portrayed in. Tawna's review (on GoodReads.com) outlines pretty much every problem I had in relation to his age and I agree with her that if he was just a couple of years older this issue wouldn't be so bad. i'm sorry, but the fact that a 10yr old is discussing having sex with his girlfriend is more than a little disturbing, even though it is a work of fiction. This along with the annoyance at the editing and POV changes really ruined what could have been a decent story. Thomas, I would consider either making Alex a bit older or laying off all the sexy stuff with his girl friend until he's at least 13-15. The bible stuff didn't thrill me, but then I mostly skipped over that while reading as I didn't feel it added anything to the story, in fact it probably made me dislike Alexander even more, he is rather disturbing in how one minute he's super kid extraordinaire, the next he's just a mean kid who likes to bash up anyone who touches him... I could have really gotten into a bit more information about some of the other main kids that stepped into the other major roles, Intel and Kirk etc and less simulations, or at least more interesting ones. Sorry Thomas it just didn't do it for me. It was a struggle to get through some of it, I won't be reading book #2.
  • Between The Land And The Sea on Feb. 24, 2012

    So, Between the land and the sea... what do I need to tell you to get you to read this? Marina is a truly astonishing character, I felt like I was reading about one of my friends. Her thoughts and reactions were fairly realistic, which made this whole story more believable. There's nothing worse than reading about someone who finds out something incredible, and instantly believes it without any sort of mental anguish and struggle to understand. Marina did this brilliantly. I felt like I was experiencing this with her (sort of like a little shadow following her around). I didn't fall in love with her, probably because she was a bit hard-headed and stubborn and that annoyed me, but I WANTED to experience it with her. One of those things I would like to have experienced was Ethan... ooh boy! Derrolyn, I hope a real version of Ethan exists somewhere for you to drool over! Ethan was pretty much the epitome of male perfection in my eyes. He was handsom, strong and caring. He shared his emotions and didn't get all macho. If I had one complaint, it might be that he was a little too perfect, it did seem to make everything wrap up nicely. He seemed too eager to please Marina, and that lost him some points in my book. I mean I'm all for a guy worshipping his woman, but that was a little too... erm, cheesy?! My all time favourite character in Between the land and the sea was Cruz (though I HATE his name!). He is probably the character that drew the most emotional response from me. I could really relate to his struggles, and grinned like a fool when he was experiencing some of his well earned rewards. Mermaids aren't really high on my list of supernatural beings to read about, but Derrolyn you have piqued my interest and I fully intend on adding book #2 to my 'to be read' shelf right now. Thank you for the incredibly well written story you have shared with us all.
  • Pandora's Key on May 10, 2012

    Pandora's key is a well thought out and somewhat complex themed book. You are thrust into Evangeline's (E) world and force fed some pretty cool history around olympus and the Gods. At times I really liked E, at others, I thought she acted like a spoilt brat ( typical teenager I suppose!). Some of the twists I had picked ahead of time, others not. So not 100% successful with the plot surprises, but a worthy attempt. All in all, this is a relatively quick read which is entertaining as well as imparting some history. Good work Nancy! One thing I noticed: 47% - 'Evangeline crouched beneath the window and them (then) jumped,'
  • Shadows Over Innocence (an Emperor's Edge short story) on Sep. 05, 2012

    I do not know how Lindsay does it! How she manages to write this short, but 'Oh so sweet' glimpse inside of Sicarius' mind while giving her EE fans information, but keeping some of the bigger secrets hidden from those who may only be new to the EE world is beyond me! I felt like I was reading a coded message straight from the head of EEIA (Emperor's Edge Intelligence Agency), I could read into the message all the things I have gleaned from my previous EE reading, yet someone completely new would go away with a full story too, just less intricate, less involved, but no less satisfying. Is it weird that being inside of Sicarius' head was exactly like I thought it would be like? Lindsay, I take my hat off to you! Brilliantly written as always!
  • Fortunate Soul (Soul Reader #3) on Sep. 18, 2012

    Fortunate Soul is book #3 in the Soul Reader series. It's another short story rather than a novel or novella, but it was free on Smashwords. This time we're again thrust into Michael and John's world just after the end of book #2. I liked this one too, but I felt a bit like it was just more of the same. Yes, the boys love each other, yes they get frisky, yes we know one is a vampire and one is not... it just seemed to fall a little flat for me. I'll probably still read #4 whenever that appears, but I won't be in such a rush next time.
  • Enigma on Dec. 10, 2012

    It's been quite some time since I last delved into the world of Tikaya and Rias. In fact it has been over 12 months since I read Encrypted. Still it felt like I was returning home to a family of characters I had grown to love. Enigma is a short story, only around 15,000 words, but it's a well constructed and entertaining 15,000 words. The bantering between Tikaya and Rias is well developed and it felt real. I thoroughly enjoy their witty comments to each other. They are both highly intelligent characters, this makes them even more enjoyable in my opinion. You'll need to have read Encrypted before you pick this one up, as it's the continuation of the story. I would have loved a bit more of this, it was a fun, quick read. I can't wait until book #2 in the Encrypted series. Please hurry Lindsay! :D
  • Angel Evolution on Dec. 16, 2012

    David really made my weekend, with his fast-paced, flirty and fresh tale about Taylor, her angel (Gabriel), her best friend Sam and Sam's demon (Chris). This fresh look at angels and demons felt well constructed with likable characters. It had me guessing right up until the end. I loved to hate Gabriel, just plain LOVED Chris and drew some pretty strong comparisons between myself and Taylor (when I was that age). I didn't love the use of the extremely hyphenated words at the beginning, but that was only very minor. Great work David! I will be adding #2 and #3 to my to read list right now!
  • Night Realm on June 22, 2013

    Night Realm is a paranormal, young adultish book that incorporates a crime/detective story in too. The criminal side of the story was quite well researched and I thought it was believable, although not too intricately written. I would have liked to see more of that side of the story. The paranormal side of the story leaves little to the imagination. It is much the same as any other vampire book, if you've read Twilight or Vampire Diaries you'll likely know just about everything there is to know about being a vampire in this book (alas - they don't sparkle). The side stories and characters were flat, it was fairly obvious that they were created and introduced for the purpose of being killed or used in some way in the story. While the main character (Ryan) was fairly developed, his sister Chelsea, left quite a bit to be desired. Her thought processes seemed scattered and some of them completely out of character, or the character I created from my understanding of Darren's writing at least. I had issues with the haphazard way in which Travis (Chelsea's mysterious boyfriend) was willing to do as Chelsea asked after such a short period in time of them being together. This 'Oh, I've just met you but I will die for you, you must be my soul mate' crap that's cropping up in young adult books these days is seriously insane! It doesn't work, it ruins an otherwise reasonable story most of the time and despite the fact that falling in love at that age does feel like that, it still leaves this reader with a very unnatural feeling. The story in itself is not that bad. I probably would have given this a 3 out of 5, but I struggled immensely with the crazy amount of detail given to mundane every day things. Each time Ryan entered a room we were given a run down on every piece of furniture and person in there, in intricate detail. Every time Ryan felt the need to have a shower, we knew every step of the process. I get that certain chracters are habit driven, some are very alert and observant, but the reader simply does not need to know all that stuff UNLESS it adds to the character, further develops the plot or ties in later in some way. To me, this felt like there had been a word count total set and Darren fell about 10,000 words short. Seriously not needed. An example of this was at about 23% in, I'm paraphrasing here, but each thing listed is mentioned in the story: Ryan lathered himself up, danced around under the water, patted himself dry, brushed his hair, sprayed on cologne, put on his undies, picked black slacks over a suit, debated on a white, black or charcoal shirt, put his wallet in his back pocket and his keys in his front pocket. This level of unimportant description was rife throughout the entire story. It is not needed. I did notice a couple of other things: 55% - Why is it that no one even slightly thinks about the bite wounds being made by a vampire? Yes, we all believe they are not real, but just about everyone knows what one is and despite the immediate feeling of being stupid that would come from thinking it could be a vampire, it - to me at least - seems to be the first and most natural conclusion. They could of course then talk themselves out of it, but really, the fact that NO ONE says "Oh hey, that looks like a vampire bite" to me seems completely and utterly unnatural and unbelievable. 96% - 'but I'm not (no) match for him, unfortunately.' The ending... what can I say?! It was cheesy and made me want to throw up a little in my mouth. **Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • Coffee, Cigarettes, and Murderous Thoughts on Feb. 26, 2014

    If I could give half stars, this would have gotten a 3.5, but I'm rounding up because it's just too good for 3 stars. This book made me think, it made me stop and go 'WTF!', it made me smile and it made me want to know where to get the drugs some of the characters were on in the story. If I was to provide you with one word to describe this collection of 26 unrelated stories, it would not be dark, or disturbing (but then avid followers of mine would know I am not easily distrubed and the darker the better in my opinion), it would instead, be: Twisted. Twisted for many reasons, primary among them, the way in which the reader is led down the path of stories, thrust from one POV to another, from one style of writing to another. The way the mind-fuck shorts make you wonder what on earth could happen next, right through to the deep and profound insight into the recesses of people's minds being laid bare before your very eyes. I found a great quote nestled among the insanity, coffee and cigarettes: "The thought that gnaws at the essence, the thought that bounces from one neuron to the next, vibrating in the soft lining of one's skull. The thought that we fear and cherish at the same time, for it scares us while giving us hope; the thought that sparks a fire somewhere deep, in a place we knew existed long ago but failed to nourish." The writing is at times poetic and touching and at others as blunt as the head of a hammer. If you're not sure what type of writing you're in the mood for, you could pick this one up and will likely find something that will tickle your fancy. My thoughts on some of the stories: Francine: I love the innuendo that is constantly challenged. Short, sweetly dark and fairly twisted. (There's that word again - right at the beginning of the book too!) Being True to Self: I think that must be what it's like to be tripping! Chuck's Last Cigarette: I liked this one. A glimpse into the mind of Chuck. It felt a little perverse baring witness to that, but also devilishly taboo and wild at the same time. Perpetual Sadness: This made me think of Cloud Atlas a little, how the same two words meant such different things to those involved. Gardening Dilemma: A wicked little story with a sting in the tale. Mousetraps: I have read a similarly constructed story by Stephen King. I think because this is a short story it lacked the level of sensory detail King could be heavy-handed with to build a more frantic and fevered pace. Nevertheless, this was an interesting tale... Privilege: Dare I say it? I wanted this to push the boundaries of my comfort... It fell a little short. Close, but no cigar. Preoccupied: Perfect title! Awake: This provides glimpses of a tale that is begging to be told. Who lives without electricity? An Amish person? Why would they live in civilization like that? So many questions. Progress: This reminded me of stories my grandad used to tell me of his time in Ireland as a child. The written dialogue at the end especially. Interesting frame of mind, but I guess one doesn't know what that would be like until it happens to them. Alone in her room: This was a fun one. I liked the different personalities, the trading and rivalry. Interesting idea, how we interact with inanimate objects, how that could be perceived from outside... The tales the bathroom door could tell! Dirt: I liked this, the gradual unwrapping of what happened. I didn't think the last 4 words were needed, the sentence before was plenty strong enough. Freak: One of the best stories of the collection. It was dark, yet surprisingly emotional. So, with that all said, if you would like to experience some of the most surprising, emotional and thought-provoking short stories, try out Henry's collection now, but be warned it does contain adult material. **Note: I was provided with an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • The Tower's Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1) on April 04, 2014

    You can see my review here: http://lynxie.booklikes.com/post/629323/the-tower-s-alchemist-by-alesha-escobar
  • Foreverland is Dead on May 29, 2014

    Foreverland is dead is book two in the Foreverland series. I think writing a sequel is probably harder than writing the original story because you have to better it. So when authors fail to better their first books, it's not necessarily a bad sign, it is probably that their first books were awesome. How do you better awesome? I thought I would like this book better than the first because it's about girls. I thought i would be able to relate more with the characters, draw similarities...I thought there would be the same level if creepy as the first, but none of those things happened. I didn't connect with any of the characters, I didn't care about any of them, and I just didn't feel part of the story. That's not to say that this book was bad, but it was shallow where as book #1 was not. If I had not read book 1 before starting this one, I might have enjoyed this book more, because I would not know just how much better Tony's writing can be. I thought the ending was a bit 'blah.' I know, that's not very descriptive. The ending was just flat. It was too easy and too obvious and too safe. I was expecting something shocking to happen. It didn't. If this is your first of Tony's books, if you don't love it, try The Annihilation of Foreverland! It was good fun. Some things I noticed: 13% how do they know it is a woman when they haven't seen it, only smelt it? 17% - 'That's (That) we're all... 37% - I don't (know) why we're... 37-40% - use of axe and ax. It looks like ax was a typo. 42% - ...see you are all are (delete are) very... 83% - a couple (of) guys were... **Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • Sunbolt on Oct. 01, 2014

    Sunbolt is a shining beacon of great writing. It has an amazing story line and brilliant characters that a lot of authors aspire to reach. The cover is striking, but simple, allowing it to capture your eye with the title. It really is the whole package. Hitomi, our protagonist, is a young woman who has dragged herself out of the gutter after losing her parents. She lives by her wits, occasionally having to resort to stealing from the street vendors, but normally doing any job she can find for herself. She is fiercely loyal and dependable and mixed up with the Shadow League - an underground group who seek to overthrow the shadowy villain, Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame - to restore Karolene to its former glory. The richness of the world that Hitomi finds herself in, is a true testament to Intisar's craft. The intricate details are woven seamlessly into the story, coaxing the reader head-first into the grimy alleys and cells Hitomi frequents. The action scenes are crisp, the writing so taut and to the point it almost sucker-punches the reader in the guts and the pacing of the story is simply perfection. Not too fast, not too slow, the reader is drip fed the information needed not a moment too soon. When it comes to character development, Intisar once again is leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of authors I've read. Not only are each of the characters (even the side characters) three dimensional and complex, but they each have an individual personality that sees them exploding out of the pages and into the readers imagination. Personal choices are weighed and measured in serious situations and the characters must decide who to trust and who to leave behind. Betrayal plays a part in the story, but it's wielded with an expert hand, allowing the appropriate amount of anguish and confusion without losing sight of the goals. The fangs and lycans make an appearance, and while having been done to death in popular books lately, in this instance have been given a new breath of life. They're rubbing shoulders with 'breathers' who are rather sinister beasts themselves. Breathers made me think of the mummified character of Imhotep from the movie, The Mummy. Creepy! All this is tied together with a magical system that felt organically sewn into the story. Normally magical books seem like the magic could be removed from the book and it'd make little difference, in Sunbolt however, the magic has been fused with the storyline, the characters and even the cities and places explored in the story. If you removed the magic, you'd remove the story. It's so brilliantly done. I loved this book so much, I am going to purchase the other two stories Intisar has written and I'll be reading them soon. I cannot wait for the other books in this series to be released. I look forward to reading more about Val and Hitomi and the rest of the motley cast. Do yourself a favour - buy this book today. You will not be disappointed. **Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • Black Beast on Nov. 05, 2014

    Have you ever had the feeling when you read something that perhaps the author loved all things paranormal so much that they wanted to cram as many different paranormal beings into one book as they could? No? Well I'd have to say this is what Nenia tried to do here. It left me thinking along these lines: Shifters and witches and vamps - Oh My! *Channels Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz* The influx of Otherworld characters aside, the story was an interesting one. There was a lot of exposition and world building that I think was a touch too long, if I were editing this and the next book (that I haven't read yet) I would probably cut half of this book and smash it together with book #2 and call it the first book. Aside from one really important scene with said deranged witch from the synopsis, much of the rest of the story was building characters, relationships and background. There's info dumping galore, which kind of irked me. Ok, let's get back on track here - This book is the first in what is currently a 5 book series (4 novels and one novella - PS, don't check out the synopsis of the novella if you haven't read the rest of the books first - it totally starts with a spoiler! FAIL) The synopsis of Black Beast drew me in, but I felt it gave me a skewed idea of what was going to happen in the book. Nenia's tiny blurb in her 'review' of the book is far more to the point and accurate. I think a review of the synopsis could be in order. My favourite character was David, which seems to be a little off kilter with the rest of the reviewers. I didn't love or hate Finn, but I have a feeling I'm funnily going to enjoy his role in the next books... I'm messed up like that. Will I continue to read the series? Hell yes! even if it's just to read the deranged goings on between Finn and Catherine as the series progresses. Some things I noticed: 19% - The woman's large brown eyes were made large(r) by her... 29% - with her lucks (delete the s) 58% - but either the witch didn't hear... Repeated paragraph twice. 64% - It (delete it, add If) it was a real emergency... 77% - how many of these fundraisers... Repeated paragraph twice. 87% - ...shift (into) something small," she... 95% - I'm more concerned about (what) you'll do... **Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • Sun Poisoned on March 18, 2015

    Sun poisoned, book two in Nikki Rae's Sunshine series takes us along with Sophie on her new trials and tribulations in New York. Moving away from her family with her two besties and band mates to play at Midnight club seems like a dream come true for an 18-19year old. There appeared to be a bit of that in the beginning. Sophie got to experience the rush of the crowd and having fans. Things have a tendency to go off track though. And off track they go for Sophie. She still has a serious puking issue in this book. I doubt I've read about a character who has purged their guts as much as she in all my reading. I think she has a problem. The storyline was flat, the characterisation garnered in book one was flushed away in exchange for some G rated quasi-sexual petting. The side characters were thrust in and out of the story as a major crutch. Mainly to progress the story or uncover plot points. The one scene that should have completely gutted me fell so far short because of the shift from characterisation. It was so sad that I felt nothing in that scene. So sad I couldn't cry along with Sophie. This book leaves us in the middle of a very important part of the story. But strangely it has the opposite effect than the desired. I have no incling to get book three. None at all. This is sad. A few things I noticed: 4% - HeHeee (He) points at me... 5% - ...so amazing," Jade asks (how can he ask when he didn't ask a question?) 13% - marker on a page by itself - check formatting of chapter names. They appear on a page by themselves. Check formatting on speech marks, including spacing and placement. **Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • The Stone Gate on Aug. 12, 2015

    The Stone Gate is very firmly set in the Young Adult adventure arena. It is, however also more than an exciting book for young adults. It is a look at Global Warming and what we, as a collective planet, are going to do about it. For this reason, I have marked it down one star, because I felt that at times the constant discussion about what had been done to correct (or not) the path forward for humanity, came across a little like preaching. Now, this isn't to say that the information and the message in this book is not valid. It is! But I would have preferred a little less 'environmental preaching' and more adventure. This is a personal preference thing, and I feel that young adults will probably not feel this way. That little issue aside, I did enjoy the adventure that Kaya and Jack experienced. I think my favourite was Beth's world, but I liked how the rich aboriginal history was brought into the story. For me, that really was a work of genius. The pace of the book is spot on for younger readers, there is constant action and information being provided and it will keep those with shorter attention spans interested because of this. The tone is conversational and light with alternating POV chapters from Kaya and Jack. I liked this format because it allowed for a bit broarder a scope when trying to cover all the related topics as the kids went through their adventure. This also posed some interesting challenges, in terms of how it was written. I didn't really enjoy the first person present tense writing style, but I think I get where Mark was trying to go with it, alas I don't think the choice lived up to its reputation. Using the first person present tense POV, should have given more insight into the characters (especially when they had interchanging chapters to voice their own personalities). Unfortunately, Kaya and Jack fell quite flat for me. Aside from having some pretty strong stereo-types, they didn't seem all that developed. Kaya was a nature, environmental guru. She watches shows like Bear Grylls and is in tune with nature. Where as Jack is a typical computer nerd-type of character. There is a couple of flashes of personality throughout the book, but it's limited to specific events that the protagonists find themselves and don't come through at other times. All of that aside, I still enjoyed the book. It was a fast read and entertaining if you can look past the preaching about climate change. I predict this should be suitable for ages 13 and up, however there are a couple of assaults/sexual references at the start that may cause distress to those sensitive to that type of thing.
  • Solstice Day Gifts (an Emperor's Edge Short Story) on Aug. 20, 2015

    Solstice Day Gifts is a short story based in Lindsay's Emperor's Edge world. It follows our two lovable protagonists, Amaranthe and Sicarius on a trip via submarine to a tourist outpost island. This is book 7.5 of the series, and gives the reader plenty of humour and delight. It has been a while since I've read in the EE world, and oh how I missed it. The witty banter, Amaranthe's mischievous plots and Sicarius... I have missed my favourite assassin! One to make the reader chuckle at their antics, it was lovely to experience things from Sicarius' perspective. He's more emotive than I thought, but highly schooled in keeping it internal. A brilliant little tale to tide readers over between novels 7 and 8. Fantastic work Lindsay, as per usual.
  • Degrees of Delusion on Dec. 25, 2015

    Degrees of Delusion is a fantastic short story. It is filled with adventure, pirates, espionage and even a little romance. Fortis, our protagonist, is lovably geeky, awkward and inept when it comes to dealing with relationships. There's a part of him that will appeal to most readers, because aside from the above mentioned traits, he's intelligent, funny and caring too. Lindsay does not fail to deliver. So far, out of the 15 books of hers I have read, she's almost always on the money. And this one is no different. I enjoyed the varied characters, the interesting setting and the twisting plot line. In fact, I think there was but one thing I didn't like about the short story. And that was the completely random font changes at various points in the story. It was obvious enough that it drew my eye as soon as I changed pages, which broke the reading up substantially and pulled me out of the story each time. I have listed a number of them in my 'things I noticed' section below, but I stopped at about 85%. If you've not tried Lindsay's work before, try this one. It's short and well written, easily enjoyed and action packed. A great introduction. Things I noticed: 3% - "I, er-.... swift competence. - wrong font 20% - Quietly, she added,.... To be yourself - wrong font 29% - "Seems strange...could have had. - wrong font 33% - "So." ... Betray me. - wrong font 38% - "Yes, Sir. ...Ascension War?" - wrong font 44% - "Well, Ross... That bad looking." "do you think... Think he knows?" - wrong font 74% - "No!" ... It wasn't fair." "And then you...months trying to..." - wrong font. 85% - "That was my accent." - wrong font I believe there were two or three instances after this point, but I didn't have my notes to jot them down.
  • After Last Call on March 02, 2016

    My full review is on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1278630683?book_show_action=false
  • Nica of Los Angeles on Dec. 26, 2016

    Ok, so the time it took me to read this is not an indication of my disinterest or lack of engagement to the story, instead I ended up doing NaNoWriMo and a massive work project in between August and Dec. That aside, Nica's tale certainly contained a lot of interesting and original ideas. The world building was fresh and the characters rather amusing. I think my favourite characters were Miles and Monk, purely because of the intellectual way they spoke and sense of humour. I also found I developed a bit of a soft spot for Hernandez. Where this story fell over for me was in a couple of ways. The length: at only 302 pages, the story felt densely packed and far, far longer than 302 pages. The pace: the characters were rushing through from one thing to the next, and one frame to the next so fast it became a little too much and things started to blur. Perhaps a few less scene changes and story plot points would help alleviate the feeling of being rushed. Nica's character and personality might irritate some readers. I found her mildly annoying at times, but amusing at others. Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good. One thing I noticed: 3% - blood-?-soaked (not sure why there's a question mark hyphenated between these two words). *Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
  • One Hundred Days on Jan. 17, 2017

    One Hundred Days is a partially fictionalised account of how Australians were part of winning World War One. While I found the story to be intriguing and providing some new concepts and ideas about how the Australians were involved with the war, the writing lends itself to a war strategy book, more than a fictional story. The characters felt stilted and unnatural. Less like characters and more like people represented by a number of pieces of factual information. For example, each person is introduced by their name, then their physical attributes rattled off in a list-like manner. Hair, eye colour, height and weight (especially when it came to the soldiers). And all the women had meaty/fleshy arses - which annoyed me too. It was obvious to me, from the writing style that Mark has spent a lot of time working in the IT field, the way sentences were structured and the story flowed, was like a simplified and basic version of something far more complex. Like an IT person trying to write an 'IT for dummies' version of some complex IT issue. This is how the story of One Hundred Days felt. All facts, little emotion, simply written - almost in bullet point (pun not intended). This withdrew me, as a reader, from this story. It presented the tale in a clinical and unemotional way, which meant that I felt nothing for the characters. There were points in this story that should have come across as harrowing and highly emotionally charged, but alas, I felt little for the characters and had no emotional connection. The writing style aside, this book needs a serious edit. There were a large number of easily fixable issues (a lot listed below), but the one thing that annoyed me the most, was the overuse of the word 'and' to link two otherwise separate ideas together. This was done a lot in dialogue, but it also happened in the other text too. This was most annoying because it made the writing feel strange. People just don't talk like that. An example from 9% through: They reached the steps of Flinders Street Station and Alec kissed Dorothy's cheek. "Goodbye sweetheart and thank you for coming out with me." "Goodbye sweetheart," she said. "Thank you for the evening and I really enjoyed being with you." Alec stood at the base of the steps and watched until Dorothy disappeared out of sight. It was truly wonderful to have her as part of his life, and maybe one day they could marry. Alec was sure that would happen, and then he would be the luckiest man in the world. Overall, this was an interesting look at how Australia played its role in WW1, but with little emotional connection with the characters and fundamentally flawed writing, I just can't give this any more than 2 stars. With a good edit, this could be a good addition to war history books, but as it is, it needs a lot of work. The things I noticed: 9% - ...the war will be over before your (you're twenty-one. - Then he was then free to go. (Excessive overwriting including dialogue with excessive use of 'and' instead of shorter sentences. 19% - After a week of fine of (delete of) weather.... 24% - behind the (delete the) Billy still holding the... 25% - and he was (too) embarrassed (to) recount... - Repetition of parade ground training came to some use. 30% - ...identifiable (by) their untidy clothing, Random lines and paragraphs from here are bolded text. 32% - ...you seem to be over (t)he worst... 34% - ...eyed the pile (in) his locker... 44% - ...that was bad lack(luck) for Charlie... 46% - ...Martin wondered (what) he was going to do... 68% - The(y) picked him up... 71% - ...cripples/. (Remove /) 81% - the text is italicised for a number of pages when Simone and Martin talk of their histories. - ...I lived there for four yea(r)s... 89% - I didn't understand." He said in French. (")I really speak English." 91%- ...the front net(not) yet tested... **Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**
  • Aurealis #78 on Feb. 04, 2017

    This edition of Aurealis sees the neo-noir 'Enfolded', from J Michael Melican and the punchy 'Discarded Pieces' from David Coleman making a splash. I enjoyed both stories, but Enfolded was something extremely unique. I would have liked to learn more about the characters past, which was hinted at, and know what the future held for him. A truly interesting piece that outshone the other piece easily. Having said that, though, both pieces are well written and formed part of a nice edition, including some advise for self-publishing and promotion as well as a handful of reviews on books. I really liked the cover art of this edition.
  • The Black-Eyed Susan on April 03, 2017

    This is a very short tale about the owner of a cargo ship 'The Black-Eyed Susan' who runs into trouble with money lenders. There's not a great deal of characterisation to go on, but I feel like a solid story could be made about The Black-Eyed Susan and its crew. Which I'm happy to say is just what J.A. Clement has done. This is book #0.3 of the On Dark Shores series. I have already read On Dark Shores: The Lady. The emotional impact was missing from this, but I suppose it can be very difficult to pack a punch in a few pages. If you like your sailor stories, this might be the first taste of something you'll enjoy devouring.
  • The Seduction on Sep. 13, 2017

    Insta-love of the right variety, this short piece takes the reader on a journey with Erica, the woman who falls in love with the car of her dreams. A great mix of seductive writing and technical information, this one certainly packs a punch. My favourite part was the freeway ride. Definitely worth the few minutes time investment.