Reader Gal

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Smashwords book reviews by Reader Gal

  • The Palaver Tree on Aug. 30, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's easily much more than I expected, an epic story that sweeps you along in its wake. Starting in a cozy English village and ending up in the middle of an uprising in Africa, this book is peopled with enough intriguing characters that it will whet your appetite for more. Which is great, since, it turns out, this is only the first in a series on Berriwood village. I grew to love this book. There is a lot background information on the characters at first, which does slow it down a little, but it all turns out to be necessary details as the story moves along. The author plays fair, dropping enough hints to know what's going wrong and who is responsible, making you feel smarter than the main characters, though, by the end of book, you're wondering why it took them so long to catch on. The descriptions of the sweeping African and English village landscapes were very authentic and you could feel almost feel the dry, sticky, red dust. The characters are cleverly drawn with flaws as well as strengths, which makes them more interesting, as well as realistic. The ending will leave you gasping and pondering the human condition. This author was gracious enough to make a free copy of this ebook available to a limited audience and I feel lucky that I had this chance to review it. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the series.
  • Nothingness on Aug. 31, 2013

    A drenching downpour, massive flooding and power outages, satanic images and the plunging economy. Is it the hand of God, a cult of evil Satanists or just some misguided high schoolers? You have to read this entertaining book to find out. The main character, Boyd, is an electrical engineer and a skeptic. In fact, some of the best parts of the book are the transcripts from the am radio show Boyd hosts called Skeptic's Corner. Truthers and tin hatters beware! The book follows Boyd, his wife, Maureen, troubled son Dan, and autistic son Jamey as they struggle through their days each dealing in their own ways with belief (theirs and others) or lack of it, in their lives. Humor, irony and coincidence are woven throughout the story with teenage angst, a disintegrating marriage, PTSD and hockey (always hockey). Clever, smart writing makes this an easy, fun (though dark) read. One point that stuck with me: isn't it more ethical to do something because it's the right thing to do rather than do the right thing for the promise of reward (heaven) in the end? If you enjoy debating the merits of belief or belief in belief you will find this a fascinating book.
  • Claws of the Griffin on Sep. 05, 2013

    If you're looking for a faced-paced story with enough secrets, hidden motives, and quirky, charming characters to keep you reading into the night--look no further. This well-written, twisty mystery has it all. The main character, Peter Reynolds, a rich self-absorbed playboy, gets a phone call that changes his life. An ex-girlfriend has died and his presence is requested at her funereal. He learns, only after he arrives, that she's been murdered. The mystery surrounding her death and the deeply held family secrets keep you guessing though the author throws in plenty of hints (and some false leads). Peter is the driving force. From swilling moonshine for the first time to trying to hunt down a murderer he has enough personality to carry it off with flair. A fun and clever read. I wish to thank the author of this book for making a free copy available for review. I'll keep an eye out for any more books from him, in this series or stand alone.