a bookworm and a reviewer - i live in a world of fantasy and reality and dystopia
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Smashwords book reviews by arianne st.clare
- Centaur Legacy
on Feb. 19, 2014
a feel-good fantasy story about centaurs and human. A delightful read from beginning to end. Hopefully I'll be able to read the next one.
- The Price of Creation
on March 01, 2014
The Price of Creation is a very engaging read. There are not a lot of books that had kept me reading until the end. This one by Lance Conrad is an exception. The story kept me interested from start to finish. The musings of the historian kept me on my toes, so to speak.
This enchanting tale begins with the Historian who traveled far and wide and soon found himself standing in-front of a great wall. He entered the land of Surac and discovered a whole new world. Surac was a place protected by an impenetrable wall and inside this wall lived a group of people whose lives were guided by the Stones. While their predetermination are characterized by powerful pendants they have from conception, these Stones also provided them with the identity of being known as Creators. Interestingly enough, when one is born with an opaque Stone, he is considered a Destroyer, one who steals and kills Creators.
The Historian, barefoot and all, was not initially welcomed by the Surac people. But a kind-hearted man named Aric, a blacksmith took him under his wing, but the rest of the townspeople still considered him an outsider. He was given the name Amar and he lived with Aric and his pregnant wife, Lauria. When Lauria gave birth to a son with a black stone, the villagers condemned Aric's family and called the newborn child, Destroyer. Sadavir, the boy who was considered a Destroyer, possessed both great & peculiar qualities, which made him the constant subject of bullying, mockery and hatred as he grew up. A seemingly growing rock and a cage were his constant companions; he didn't have any friends at all. The time came when he was forced to flee his home, along with the Historian and move to the other side of the wall, to be with the Destroyers and never to go back to Surac, ever again. Soon, Sadavir & the Historian discovered the truth about Destroyers and Creators, a nagging truth that dispelled all that he had ever believed in.
The characters of Sadavir and the historian/storyteller himself are unique and quite complex. Each personality holds fundamental secrets. As the book unfolds, I couldn't help but appreciate the sheer depth of the characters and the complexities the author has woven into the story. There's a lesson to be learned in every chapter, something a reader would be able to relate to. This is definitely worth reading to the end.
- Wicked Road
on Dec. 17, 2014
Cheers to a new haunting series! Wicked Road is H'deel Batnij maiden offering and I am already impressed with her writing. Although I read on the editor's note that this novel had to go through some rigid editorial task, as a grammar guru myself, I can say that this book is perfect - in storytelling, in capturing the attention of the readers, in mesmerizing and urging the reader to read until the end and clamor for more. That is exactly how I felt upon reading Wicked Road.
The story begins with an abandoned child at the footsteps of Dr. Todd Ronalds' home. He named the newborn child Mathew who was loved and well-taken care of. Fast forward five years later, a girl named Donnie Sparks witnessed the death of her parents due to fire, just one day before her birthday. Tragic, isn't it? Luckily, Todd came at the right moment and adopted her and raised her as his own. Together, Mathew & Donnie bonded and shared what natural siblings have - a family - a real relationship between a brother and a sister.
It wasn't long after Donnie grew up and turned into a beautiful but goth-like lady, with tattoos, weird hairstyles and piercings on her body, a far cry from what she had envisioned herself as a magical pink princess before her parents' death. She had a bestfriend - Ronnie, who also played on her brother's band, whom she was slowly falling in love with. Things got way too complicated when one day, the guitarist of the band, Marilyn, had somewhat controlled Donnie's mind, causing her to strip her clothes in front of him. Oh my! That's when I knew something menacing and disturbing lurked behind his eyes.
The book in its entirety is a fast-paced, easy to read and positively scary! Satanism was introduced in the story, which was really frightening and hair-raising. I cringe a lot whenever Donnie's mind got controlled by Marilyn, which were really too creepy and sick. especially with him playing tricks with Donnie, plus a number of deaths surrounding them. ! H'deel Batnij ended the story with one hell of a cliffhanger, a gateway to a more complex sequel that I am sure, is going to be another nail-biting experience. This is a highly recommended read!
- All I Want for Christmas
on Dec. 21, 2014
All I Want for Christmas is about Reyna, who was placed in the care of the kind-hearted Millers after Child Protection Services rescued her from her pill-popping, hallucinating mother. At first, she was adamant & refused to accept her new family, but as time progressed, she loved having a new one. Then she met her foster sibling, Neil. Theirs was a special kind of relationship – they bring out the best of each other when together. And also the worst. Which led to Neil doing something that tipped the police and him escaping to nowhere. Reyna felt betrayed, hurt, and her family, devastated. Trusting someone, or anyone for that matter, had always been one of Reyna’s issues so when Neil wounded her heart, she never wanted anything to do with him. Until they saw each other again. Until he saved him from a possible assault. Until he joined her foster family for Christmas. Until he kissed her again.
Soon, they would have to let go of their feelings, learn to forgive and forget, although the truth is, these emotions are easier said than done. Will Reyna and Neil ever get what they want for Christmas?
Kate Givans impressed me again with her Christmas offering. If there’s one thing I learned from this novella, it is that when one falls in love, trust should always come along. Although Trust is not something all loving relationships start with. But with Reyna and Neil, they learned to trust and love the hard way. They’re both scarred from their past, they’re both still reeling to face the future. Like what Neil had said, “We’re not that different. Different scars, different pasts, but trauma, pain, loss, hurt.. those things bind us together. We know what they are and we know what they feel like, and because of that, we’ll take special care of each other.” Big words from a troubled man. Big words from a man I am starting to admire. Big special words that struck my heart.
- Masked Encounters
on Jan. 27, 2015
Masked Encounters is an exciting and sexy short story by Felicia Tatum! She had impressed me before with her first book, The White Aura and now with her newest offering; I couldn't help but agree with the other readers/reviewers. This novella is intriguing, captivating and really intimate. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Korah's character is as mysterious as Dane's. In this book, we get to meet Korah who had built an entire wall around herself because she got hurt from a previous relationship. Despite this wall, her best-friend Leela still set her up with blind dates, which turned disastrous in the end. And one night, during a masked Halloween party, Korah let out her inhibitions, wore a sexy angelic dress and captured the eye of Dane. Unbeknownst to her, Dane had seen her before and had unnerved him with her uneasiness and aloofness to the guys. And when the barefoot Korah was tended by a gorgeous masked man, she retaliated and ended up doing the unthinkable. Whatever it was, I'm not telling...
This book is really engaging. No boring scenes, no dull dialogues, just pure blissful reading! Thanks so much, Felicia for trusting me with your book. Gonna read the next one now!
- Mangled Hearts
on Jan. 27, 2015
I never thought I'd get affected while reading this beautiful book. On the first night that I got this book, as I lay on my bed imagining what might have happened between Francesca & Cade in the past, I knew that somehow this past will catch up on them in the future. What I learned about them just sets me crying and sobbing on my pillow. Darn, Felicia Tatum did this to me! Yes, you mad me cry to sleep after reading your book, Ms. Tatum. But don't worry, I'm not mad at you. I was just overwhelmed.
The heartbreak, the reunion, Cade's drunken fit, Francesca's emotional turmoil, all these and more made this novel a very captivating read. Francesca is the Yin to Cade's Yang, that's how I see them. They really fit together. I couldn't wait to read the next story.