Erika Stroup


Voracious reader with a passion for the written word.

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Smashwords book reviews by Erika Stroup

  • Elements The Beginning on June 12, 2012

    Title: Elements: The Beginning Author: Kate Fuentes Publisher: Dreampath Books Number of Pages: 240 Date of Release: April, 18th 2011 Summary From Goodreads: Destiny brought them into this world to save mankind and malevolent forces will stop at nothing in order to annihilate them. Born with extraordinary powers, fraternal twins Gage and Talon Thorn learn how to control their mystical abilities. Tragedy strikes the family and their ordinary father Gable is forced to raise them on his own. Pain and loss encompass the Thorns as they persevere to live a normal life in a place determined to destroy their happiness. Soon their incredible gifts need proper nurturing and Gable recruits a special group of people to help in their upbringing. A sassy, tenacious nanny named Leia and an eccentric unorthodox warrior named Maui complete the dream team of mentors to aid in the complexity of their lives. Evil, wicked forces lurk in the shadows and the boys are in danger if they don't learn how to control their unique talents and harness their elemental powers. Humanity rests in the hands of the young brothers as they embark on an epic adventure to save mankind from the dark emperor. Review: It’s easy to get lost in the world building involved in fantasy novels. I am pleased to say though that I never, not once, was confused or board with the setting Kate Fuentes has created. The only kind of issue I had with the novel was the prologue. Which I loved, but the birth scene wasn’t totally accurate. I mean there was no cutting of umbilical cords mentioned. I don’t know why it bothers me, it seems really picky. Gage and Talon were born with incredible powers. They are raised in their fathers ever present heart ache over their mothers loss. It was interesting reading their story and then trying to figure out before them which choices they would make. Their ever present sense of love, loss and hope was something I loved reading about. While at times, the action was tense and fast. There were other times where it slowed down and it kept the novel from becoming too predictable. Kate Fuentes, from the very beginning was able to write into her words a sense of love and warmth, and I haven’t read anything like it before. Truly original, definitely a novel and author to keep your eye on!
  • Cycles on Aug. 13, 2012

    Title: Cycles Author: Lois D. Brown Number of Pages: 198 Date of Release: December 15th, 2011 Summary From Goodreads: She remembers things that never happened. She's a stranger in her own home. She always knew she was different. She just didn't know why. Until now. Renee Beaumont is about to die . . . again. Review: With a beautiful cover and an intriguing summary, Cycles drew me in immediately. It wasn’t just one thing that made me enjoy reading Brown’s writing it was a combination and I loved and appreciated that. Cycles is a unique tale that will have you on the edge of your seat! Renee as a character is incredibly likable and I really loved trying to uncover her past right alongside of her. The incident in which she loses a lot of blood and needs a transfusion had me frightened for her even though it was the beginning of the book. Lois D. Brown crafted her as a sincere and mature 13 year old that anyone could relate to. Sam was a bit confusing, I loved how he didn’t instantly fall head over heels for Renee but found his attraction leading him to the popular girl at school. The relationship between Sam and Renee is endearing and only slightly tinged with romantic sprinkles. The plot was fast paced and when I hit the ending I did not see it coming at all. I mean WOW I am still reeling from what you did Brown!! The journal entries from the 1960’s from a women named Helen who I will not tell you about were genius. It added another layer of suspense and another layer to the plot. I would definitely recommend this book it is fast paced short read that will instantly grab your attention!!