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!
  • Lethal Inheritance on Oct. 24, 2013

    Lethal Inheritance is many things… It's the first novel in The Diamond Peak series. It’s exciting and uplifting, thrilling and thoroughly positive, and it shows huge challenges and how to overcome them. It made me giggly and silly and generally happy. But it’s also soul-crushingly dark and creepy in parts. Those parts left me feeling a little gutted, a little hollow inside and filled with a desire to expel the darkness. Perhaps it was my Serpentine rising up to overcome my inner Radiance or perhaps I had a Gimp climbing up my legs? We start with Ariel, she's a regular 17-year-old girl. She's concerned about school and exams and her friends, boyfriends and fitting in. She's pretty much what everyone would expect of a normal teenage girl. Her mother, Nadima, is a little different. She raises orphan baby wombats! Spud instantly made me squee!! I think people around me thought I'd choked on some food, but really, I was just instantly drawn into the lives of these two women. I loved that they cared for this beautiful animal. It drew a strong connection with me and considering it was a tiny piece of information in a large and complex story, it still stuck with me throughout the whole story. Tahlia doesn't beat around in the bush, the action happens quickly. This is a good thing. It brought me instantly into the middle of turmoil, horror and whirl-wind emotion. It also raised a lot of questions. Foremost in my mind was what the hell is happening?! Thankfully, things are explained in a rational and timely manner, Ariel is exposed to the same information as the reader. This is a great way to get the reader to bond with the protagonist. I mirrored the confusion and disbelief that Ariel went through. We follow Ariel on a journey into a world she had never known existed. She's making this trip to save her mother from the Demons that kidnapped her. Why they took her, we don't really know, but the horrific ideas that Ariel creates in her mind of what could be happening to her mother are a very forceful motivator. I wanted to jump into the pages and save her mother from them myself. When Ariel meets her cast of supporting characters, Nick and Walnut things become a little more interesting. I adored Walnut. He pushes Ariel, comforts her and offers his many years of wisdom. I didn't really get a strong visual of what he looks like. I was thinking something like this: but I'm not sure why I don't have a strong idea of how he looks, perhaps to me, it didn't really matter. It was more his wisdom and advice that mattered to the story. The magical side of things was a little bit out of my depth. When inner radiance was mentioned, this is how I imagined it: As the story progressed, I knew that was wrong. Tahlia explained the magical aspects of the story in great detail. I liked this, because it gave me an opportunity to understand exactly what she was trying to show me. I liked too, how things just didn't fall into Ariel's lap. She had work for things, she had to experience failures before she succeeded and it made everything seem more realistic because of it. I especially liked the sword fighting. There were a few things that were a little obvious and a little cliche. The Nick/Ariel relationship had kind of been done before, and I picked up on a lot of the twists and turns of their relationship well in advance. This was only a minor issue I had, it really didn't detract from the story, but I would have liked to see something else a little more original when it came to the two of them. Ultimately, I plan to continue this series (of which there are four novels and one prequel), it held my attention, it is extremely well written and an enjoyable story of adventure, self exploration, magic and general mayhem. **Note: I was provided with an electronic version of this story 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
  • Bound to Accept on Aug. 15, 2014

    I beta read this for Nenia, so I was privy to this in its initial drafts. My copies might be slightly different from the finished product. In a way, I think that beta reading this allowed for me to see it grow from Nenia's initial concepts into the amazing BDSM erotic tale it's become. I really enjoyed the realistic look into a D/s relationship with Tristan and Kelly, with all its amazing highs and some of the lows. I can only hope that this sort of book can one day outsell 50SoG, because this one is so much more. The content is hot, sexy and varied. It ranges from sensory play to full blown, hard-core fucking. There is one trigger warning - rape fantasy play is explored in quite graphic detail. This will cause some distress to those who have issues with that sort of play. Outside of that, though, the content should be easily enjoyed by those who enjoy D/s and erotica between characters who are realistic, flawed and occasionally naughty.
  • The Last King's Amulet on Aug. 18, 2014

    The Last King's Amulet trails Sumto through a rather tumultuous time in his life. It sees an adventure of personal growth begin in a fantasized version of Ancient Rome and move through a war-ravaged countryside. It explores a world of barbarians, battle mages and magical healers and mixes it with a healthy dose of political and economic strategy. Perhaps not for everyone... Sumto was not a really likeable character. Lazy, fat and spoilt, he didn't really inspire much in the way of compassion. I'd like to say that changed in the book, but it didn't quite get there. His character development was certainly well conceived, but perhaps a little too slow, or with too much yo-yoing. The supporting cast were wide and varied. Those that I had initially dismissed ended up playing pivotal roles and were key players in the way the story unfolded. Others who seemed to play important parts were brushed aside with little concern. It was a little unsettling. If you like war strategy or books on war formations and the like, you might enjoy this one. I found the deeply intricate details were a touch too much and had begun to feel as if I were reading a non-fiction book on war in Ancient Rome. Aside from Sumto's need to delve into internal dialogue fairly frequently, I found the story progressed along a reasonable storyline and timeframe. All up, this book took me about a month to read, it was not because I didn't enjoy it. It is a great book, but it needs the reader to be in a certain frame of mind to really get into it. A few things I noticed: 6% - ...at least no(t) immediately. 23% - I didn't not (del not) see fit... 59% - mare with (a) scar on her face. 69% - I left them all too (del too, add to) 72% - they had Turned (turned) 77% - ...to see those would (del would add who) would decide... 86% spry (spray)? 92% - ...try to Turn (turn) me... 97% - ...tugging (h)is burning robes... **Note: I was provided with an electronic version 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**
  • The King's Ward on Oct. 23, 2014

    The King's Ward is the second of Chris Northern's books I've read, and while both books have been enjoyable, each had its own problems. My review of The Last Kings Amulet highlighted my issues with characters and character development coupled with a little too much war theory. The King's Ward, however, has likeable characters and quite a robust plot. When I realised that the book was about fey, scenes of Tinkerbell from Peter Pan flashed into my mind, quickly followed by something like this the fairies from Fantasia. Very quickly it became apparent that this was not the case. My mind then went to my memories of Pan's Labyrinth and the fairies there... And, while this was a little closer, it still didn't quite sync with Chris' thoughts on the fey. I've read a number of stories that incorporate the fey, they always seem to vary, sometimes the fey are good, sometimes evil, and sometimes in the middle. Chris' fey end up in the middle. I liked that, because they were different from humans, but not so different that they couldn't blend in. One of the most interesting aspects of the story was on the reproduction of fey, it reminded me a little of True Blood (the book series, not the TV show). Where this book fell down, is the production. This book doesn't read like a polished novel. There's a lot of little typos I've pointed out below, but this book needs a once over by a good editor, there's grammatical errors, superfluous words and overall it's just a bit unwieldily. This detracted from the interesting plot, the likeable characters and the world that was bursting with creativity. Definitely within the Young Adult genre, with strong fantasy ties, this book should appeal to all ages, if they can overlook the slightly juvenile POV of the protagonists. There's plenty of action to keep you reading, with some softer moments for those of us who enjoy a little sweetness too. Things I noticed: 11% - Well, when you have g(r)own a bit... 22% - ...just putting of(f) the encounter with the... 23% - ...invisible bonds (of) her attention... 25% - Your (You) need me, he had... 27% - shoulder length b(l)ack hair... 28% - ...headband and (delete and) framed a flat featured face. ...For now," he he (delete he) turned and gestured... 30% - Abarta was it's (remove apostrophe) target... 36% - Brea bustled to her feet. " I'll (remove space before I'll) go prepare... 39% - We made out (our) way down to the beach... 40% - I dropped my my (delete my) hand and opened... 41% - ...I (turned) to look at the figure... ...cross me or seek (to) bring harm... 43% - We sat at (a) table in the great hall... ...I didn't fell (delete fell, add feel) like pressing... 52% - ...to take (a) look around... 55% - ...hair in disarray about may (delete may, add my) face... 58% - He pointed to where the st(r)eam through the valley... 59% - ...either burn out of (delete of, add or) come through... 61% - "Ow," I though(t) I'd better contribute. 65% - Frey(a) looked at me... 68% - "Thank you "I said absently (closing speech marks are misplaced.) 75% - ...and you'll forger (delete forger, add forget) 82% - The(n) I beat down, forced... 83% - I skipped a(s)ide as someone tried to walk... 85% - why can people see her now? She doesn't have much of a reaction to that...seems odd Excerpt: 99% - Sumo (Sumto) **Note: I was provided an electronic copy 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 Bone Knife on June 24, 2015

    Well, Intisar delivers another great short story. The Bone Knife hints at a much larger story, one that I am extremely keen to find out more about. The loving, supportive family unit Rae (our protagonist) is brought up in, is a delightful change to the broken homes of a lot of new fictional characters are emerging from. The two sisters are sweet and yet amusingly realistic in their taunting and teasing, but also their actions speak louder than words. When an 'appalingly attractive faerie' arrives on their doorstep to conduct business with Rae's father, things begin to get interesting. I loved the dueling dichotomy within the faerie character, the sinister and the alluring all wrapped up within a single package. It hinted at a far greater story in the first book of the 'Theft of Sunlight' series. If you haven't tried anything by Intisar Khanani, do so today, her work is top notch and thoroughly engaging. I am still yet to read Thorn, but it is on my TBR list already. I look forward to more from this author in the coming years.
  • 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