Lauren Cote

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Lauren Cote

  • Meeting Destiny on Jan. 27, 2012

    Wow! The cover catches you from the start! Stunning... Then you start reading and get swept away ... Lauren is a strong character and so selfless. Her confidence in how she reacts to life makes me invest in her character. Enter Max... Swooonnnn (: destiny couldn't be any better than him. So Lauren has dreamnt of him for so long and when she meets him in such unfortunate circumstances, I was sucked into thier chemistry and rode the ride to the end. My emotions were a roller coaster through out the story and read this in one sitting ( ah hum 2 am ) and went to bed almost crying and thinking I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel to see how the story played out... Nancy Straight is one author who I will definitely follow now I read many books of this genre and this is right up there at the top ... The price is a bonus also! Take time to give this book a try you will not regret it
  • Rook: Allie's War Episodes 1-4 on April 22, 2012

    Rook, the first novel in the Allie’s War series, is quite the adventure to read. At first, the new world J.C. Andrijeski creates seems very unfamiliar, and it takes some getting used to, but once you get past that, you know that you’re in one of the most memorable, astonishing and original books currently out there. The world we are introduced to in this novel, is very much alike our own, but with the addition of a new race of creatures called seers, who were discovered in Asia in the early 1900s. Although the seers are far more powerful than humans, since they can communicate on a different thought-level called The Barrier, and some of them possess even more impressive qualities – like telekinesis or the ability to influence other people’s thoughts – they are treated like second-rate citizens. Some of them are sold as sex-slaves to expensive whorehouses, while others work for wealthy families who can afford their own seer, and thus gain even more power for themselves. The ones who are not bound by the rules of human society, are organised in the few remaining clans. But there is also a significant group of seers who are not pleased with the current world order, and who have gone rogue, calling themselves Rooks and operating in a pyramid-like structure on The Barrier.As you may have noticed from my short introduction, Rook is nothing like other science-fiction/alternative universe novels out there. The world J.C. Andrijeski creates is original, entertaining and quite complicated – it took me a while to actually grasp the entire concept of it. The complexity of this world might scare potential readers, but once everything clicks into place, the amount of world-building done in this novel and the originality of the concepts introduced are really amazing and impressive, and it should not scare you away from reading this novel. Allie is an interesting character, with a lot of depth and personality. In the beginning of this novel, she is still convinced of her own humanity, although there were some events during her childhood that occasionally made her question that. But when she is being stalked by Revik, a fellow seer, and he tells her of her own seer-heritage, everything seemingly clicks into place – but that doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t scare Allile tremendously. She is forced to leave her entire life behind, and to run away from Terrian, a seer who wants to make her become part of the Rook organisation. J.C. Andrijeski describes Allie’s growth as a character, from a person in the dark about her own history, heritage to a person trying to find out what this seer-thing actually means to The Bridge, the person capable of destroying the world. The evolution in her personality happens slowly and gradually, and is remarkably well written to say the least. I liked Allie’s personality. She is determined, strong, intelligent and willing to acknowledge her own failures and flaws, and to deal with them. I could easily relate to her and found that I really enjoyed reading her thoughts and opinions. The other main characters, Revik – the good guy, the love interest – and Terrian – the bad guy – are equally as interesting and entertaining, although they both have very distinct personalities. It’s obvious from the start that the two of them have some history together, and I thought their interactions with each other were some of the most interesting scenes in this novel. Terrian makes an excellent bad guy as he is practically the representation of all the things we deem evil in this world. The fact that he has multiple bodies he can operate, makes him a very interesting opponent as well. I also liked Revik’s personality, with his moods switching quickly between happy, relaxed and cheerful and angry, confused and sad. Whereas Allie is more of a balanced person, I thought Revik’s moody personality made an excellent addition to that. I also liked the two of them together, as an item, since it somehow seemed very fitting. At times I just wished I could reach in the book and smack them both(: stop being so stubborn the both of you! Phew there I got that off my chest(: But more even than the impressive world-building and the interesting, well-thought-through characters, I thorougly enjoyed the storyline. Starting off right in the middle of the action, only to bounce back to explain a couple of things and then right away get into the action again. The storyline is very original, as in the entire concept of the novel, and it’s filled with more backstabbing betrayal, twist and turns than I even thought possible. By the end, Allie hardly knows who to trust anymore besides herself – if she can even trust herself, being The Bridge and destroying the world and all – and she even questions the loyalty of the people she loves most: Revik, her own brother and her closest friend. While the world around them seems to be crashing down, the characters are forced to find strength and courage within themselves to do the impossible. The contrast between Allie’s relatively safe, human environment we meet her in at first, and the dire circumstances she finds herself in by the end of Rook is enormous. The storyline never gets predictable, and always mantains the fast pace and level of intensity we see from the start, and even when it slows down for a minute to explain something about Allie’s world, or to create some romance between characters, it never loses that intensity. Another strong point of this novel was that Allie, although she is The Bridge and supposedly the destroyer of the world, doesn’t seem like an overpowered character at all. A lot of authors fall into the trap that they want their main character to be a part of a prophecy, or to have some amazing purpose in this life, and end up making them overpowered compared to the other characters, which makes them unbelievable, people can no longer relate to them and they become boring. Luckily for us readers, J.C. Andrijeski does not fall for that trap, which makes Rook an even more impressive book to read.If I had to say one bad thing about Rook, then it would be its complexity. That’s the only reason why I rated this book a 4 and not a 5, and also the reason why I think the other novels in the series might be even better than this one – less explaining to do, more action and adventures. Rook is an excellent science-fiction/fantasy novel with an amazing storyline, strong characters and the most impressive display of world-building I have seen in a while. If you’re tired of reading fantasy novels with the same old concept over and over again, then you will definately find Rook innovating, remarkable and highly entertaining. And even if you’re happy with the way most contemporary fantasy novels work nowadays, then I think you’ll still find Rook to be a very entertaining novel in the genre, and one of the most well-written ones. Don’t hesitate to read this book: it will definately NOT dissapoint you. I am off to read the rest of the series now. This was R2R book review and another hit!