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Smashwords book reviews by StephanBeacher

  • The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses on Jan. 01, 2016

    I’m not one for rehashing the plot (that’s what the summary is for on the book description page), but trust me when I say you’ve never read anything like this before! Fast-paced and action-packed, “The Urban Boys” will take you through new concepts and perspectives in a YA adventure that you’ve never read before. I felt a connection with each of these characters that I didn’t expect, and I thought the author’s narrative prose was some of the best I’ve read in a while, the way she brought the scenes to life, and the attention to details. Very cool! Suitable for ages 12 and up – there are some ‘darker’ elements, but it is a clean read that all ages can appreciate.
  • Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on April 09, 2016

    one thing I like about this book by G.A. Beller is that his narrative prose is some of the best and most authentic I’ve read in a while, the way he brings the scenes to life and the attention to historical and cultural and political details that gave this story genuine authenticity. I actually feel like I learned something about political affairs and perspectives had a fun time doing it.. It is action/drama/philosophy/adventure all in one, and while it still has the familiar vibe that most political thrillers have and with events (like the Obama birth certificate among others) and characters that we will clearly recognize, it still feels fresh and original enough and is definitely unpredictable, especially towards the end. It is more than just the classic story of “right and wrong”, (as the title itself implies) and really encompasses so much more of the human condition – and it is also funny at times, despite being so ‘dark’. I chuckled at some of the dialogue and really enjoyed watching the characters evolve as the story progressed. Thought it wrapped up well and I was satisfied with how it all played out. Recommend.
  • Friend & Foe on April 09, 2016

    this book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing, but obviously that was impossible because this is one long epic tale! It was all I could do though not to rush it… this isn’t a ‘quick-easy beach read” by any stretch, but more like something you sink back with for a while and let it take over your soul. I enjoyed the author’s “voice” and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were intelligent, well-developed and not predictable, and the element of middle eastern politics and religion was a new angle for me. I really enjoyed it! The characters were all genuine and interesting in their own right and well-written, and my only real complaint was some editing/formatting errors. But nothing that lessened my enjoyment any, and I’d love to read more from this author in the future!
  • Time is for Dragonflies and Angels on Dec. 18, 2016

    TIME IS FOR DRAGONFLIES AND ANGELS is a must read for lovers of literary science fiction and dark drama and fantasy. This book falls into that rare group that tells unexpected and original stories that don’t rely on cliché’s or overused plot devices – nice, especially in the Sci-Fi genre where it is hard to find really unique plotlines and genuine character development. Although there are familiar tropes here in these stories (parallel worlds, alternate dimensions, AI and aliens, etc…) Erickson does an incredible job treating each story as an individual entity with a flavor and message all its own. The shorter story length keeps you hooked from beginning to end, and if you are like me you’ll find you just want to keep reading all the way through to the last one. I found a few of the stories to be more impactful personally, but each were well-executed in their own right. A solid effort from J.M. Erickson and I’m eager to read more of his published works.
  • Harrow's Gate on Dec. 25, 2016

    This book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing. It pulls you in from the beginning, and I enjoyed Lawrence BoarerPitchford’s “voice” and style of writing. The plotlines were thoroughly developed and not predictable, and the characters were some of the most interesting I’ve come across in a while. The dialogue was genuine and real, like how real people talk (even when they aren’t ‘real people’!)… although there were some parts that I thought kind of dragged, I liked watching the relationship with the main characters develop, as well as the other supporting cast (which unfortunately were not as fleshed out). The editing was really good, something I always appreciate in my ebooks. If I had one complaint it is that so much seemed to happen toward the end of the book, and then it was over almost as soon as it all started – just felt ‘off’ pacing wise, but the overall story was a unique delight. I actually looked at the Amazon page to see what the actual genre is, because it felt like it covered several different ones – this one is also considered ‘steampunk’ which is a pretty cool angle as well.
  • Canadian Insolvency Guide on Sep. 18, 2017

    Earl Sands’ book, “Canadian Insolvency Guide: Helping Canadians Get A Fresh Financial Start” is basically exactly what the title says it is, and is an important resource for individuals (or families) who want to know what to expect while going through a bankruptcy in Canada from beginning to end. Experienced Insolvency Trustee Earl Sands gives keen insights into the different aspects of bankruptcy and financial insolvency, and explains many different aspects of each area, and how best to arm yourself with information. Knowledge is power, and many people might be too afraid to do what they need to do financially (afraid to declare bankruptcy because of stigma or other reasons), but this book helps to alleviate much of that fear. Great narrative that is personable and easily understood, this book is a useful guide that is a must read for anyone in Canada who is considering bankruptcy or having financial difficulties. Recommend
  • FLATLINE on March 01, 2018

    I read a lot of books in this arena, so this is a genre I’m fairly familiar with. Although “Flatline” lacks the depth and finesse of others I’ve read, nonetheless, it was an engaging novel that held my interest and kept me guessing throughout (I thought I’d figured out the killer and motives but was wrong). I didn’t think it was predictable at all (nice bonus) and was actually really surprised at a few things and liked how the storylines came together in a tension-filled, climactic ending. I appreciated that the author took some risks and wasn’t afraid to put his characters through a lot… I mean, who else would have the nerve to ‘kill off’ main characters? Lol.. I have to mention the editing needs fixing, so I can’t award 5 stars because I judge on the whole book overall. So technically needs some work, but content-wise Dana Barney crafted an authentic, engrossing novel that is sure to please fans of the genre, and I’m looking forward to reading more from him soon.