Penelope Anne Bartotto

Penelope Anne Bartotto's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Penelope Anne Bartotto

  • The Mirage on Nov. 30, 2013

    The Mirage is the anticipated sequel to The Star by Clemy Warner-Thompson. Abbii and her friends discover in the first novel that not only do they have magical powers abilities, but that there are also smack dab in the middle of a war between the good and the evil aspects of the magical world. I liked The Star. I felt that there had been a story that started out with only a few minor bumps that could have been smoothed out. Thus, I had a lot of hope for The Mirage. A sequel has a 50/50 chance of redeeming any issues with book one. The other option is to potentially lose track of the story all together. What happens here is that it fell in the chasm called the middle ground. Does the story redeem and improve upon the minor issues that The Star had... no. Does it destroy the story and lose everything... no. So what is the issue? As an author who has just realized that the story I am currently writing is meant for bigger avenues, I have determined that it will be better as a series. Thus, something I have learned is that most series develop as one story needing to be told. With The Mirage, while it picks up where The Star left off, literally... it could have been the next page of The Star, it left me wanting so much more. The Mirage feels like an unfinished work, needing more progressive editing and definitely more story building. Warner-Thompson knows her characters, she knows the concept behind her story, but she has not quite mastered delivering it to an audience in a clear way. There were times I danced around the story wondering exactly which direction things were meant to be going in, only to stop, still just as lost, but to tired to try to figure it out. Ultimately the most disappointing aspect of the book was the ending... and not because I was eager to read the next one. The ending came so abruptly that I seriously kept looking at my Kindle wondering if somehow a number of pages had been cut off the copy. My recommendation is to wait and see if a newly edited version is released before investing in The Mirage, I am positive that the author only wants the best for her story and characters and will work to better this story before moving on to the development of the next in the series.
  • Blood Claim (Half-Blood Princess #1) on March 16, 2014

    Blood Claim is the first book that I have had the pleasure to read of Magen McMinimy's and I am sorry it has taken me so long to read her work. I am a vampire whore, yes I said that. I love anything and everything vampire related and a good book that doesn't destroy the mystique of vampires (Twilight) and creates characters you invest yourself in (Anne Rice) deserves to be put on a pedestal. Blood Claim has earned a pedestal for the moment. I fell in love with Sophia within a matter of pages, and as each new character came into play, McMinimy brought them to life with as much passion as her main character. Not only were the characters developed, but the world was crafted with attention to detail, bringing in back story and history. These factors are something I love and am oft disappointed not to find in modern literature. Blood Claim is the foundation story of a series that I can only imagine will get better and better as each building block is brought forth. I like that we are introduced to the characters and premise of the series here, but not rushed through a story just to get to the romance. The romance is a delightful treat that dances on the edges of the main tale, twirling into center stage as needed, but never far from the spotlight. Personally, I had a hard time not falling in love with Dante myself.
  • Wind Warrior on April 24, 2014

    Welcome to the World Aflame series by Jon Messenger. We're diving in today with a review of book one in the series Wind Warrior. Messenger has crafted a mythology with this series of elemental beings that wield the forces of nature to preserve the earth and keep the balance. He first introduces us to the main character of the series, Xander Sirocco, a young man traveling a dull path to nowhere. Xander and the reader soon discover that he is meant for much more than aimlessly attending college, he is the newest member of a dying cast of elementals, the Wind Warriors. Wind Warriors come from a family line of warriors, yet even though Xander still lives at home he has no knowledge of his heritage, until a strange girl comes to town. Suddenly all hell comes to town and Xander is trapped in the middle of a feud he is ready to battle in his mind, but not quite with his heart, soul and most importantly, his new found powers. The world crafted here, added with the mythology and the truly well thought out cast of characters is what makes this novel so attractive. In developing his world, characters, mythology, story direction, and plot; Messenger went into a new realm and came out swinging. There is a lot of action, clear intrigue and mystery, a nice romance angle that has potential disaster written all over it, and a lot of emotion. Action is what propels the story, but there are moments when the story moves a little slower than the plot demands, that minor flaw in an otherwise great book. I am definitely aiming to read the next two books in the series and interested in reading the other books in Jon's collection of works.