Cynthia Shaffer


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Smashwords book reviews by Cynthia Shaffer

  • Aaron & Keja: Time Dragon (Orgarlan Saga: Book 1) on June 10, 2012

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. An elven sorcerer, finding his powers on the wane, decides that the only way to restore his abilities is to kill a rare silver dragon known as a Time Dragon. However, since law prevents him from harming a dragon, he opens a rift between worlds and forces one to flee to another world, one where he may kill without fear of reprisal. A small band of Orcs, learning of his plan and vowing to stop him, follow the sorcerer and dragon into the new world. They've heard stories of a human who is destined to play a role in the fate of the Time Dragon. The story is solid and brimming with possibility. The characters are fascinating and I would love to see them fleshed out a bit more. With a bit of reworking and some grammatical correction from a good editor, this could be a dynamite series. I look forward to reading more from this author.
  • Fire: The Collapse on Aug. 04, 2012

    The very idea of zombies is the stuff of nightmares. Is it possible for the entire world to be blanketed within days by a virus that not only kills its victims but reanimates them and turns them into voracious killers, craving human flesh? It is the gritty reality of Esmont's world. This book is most unsettling. It positively undulates with tension and sets the stage for what I believe will be one hell of a battle. I look forward to the next segment in this tale of survival.
  • Earth: Desperate Measures on Oct. 14, 2012

    This is the third segment in William Esmont's Elements of the Undead tale. Book One introduced the reader to a huge cast of characters and Book Two was a short story, seemingly unrelated to the first (except for zombie overrun). Book Three is beginning to tie things up and make connections between the lives and stories of the various characters. As in the first two, Esmont's pacing is fast, the mood tense and the threat real. Earth is a quick entertaining read that will make you squirm with unease. I look forward to the next installment.
  • Dirty Little Angels on Nov. 11, 2012

    Normally, I have no trouble finding words for a book review. This story is bouncing around in my head, though, and I am not sure what I thought of it or what I want to say about it. It was dark and disturbing. There is no happiness, no bright futures, no light at the end of the tunnel, nothing except bleak despair. Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina comes to mind as something I could compare it to. The stories are as dissimilar as night and day but they both seemed to end with a gritty sucker punch that made me feel like I could suffocate. While I will not say that I enjoyed this book, it is a realistic slice of life, mean and hopeless. I would definitely recommend Tusa to fans of Allison.