A Luminous Future
on July 01, 2012
An exceptional story...
Earlier today, I was making plans for our annual Fourth of July BBQ party. Tonight, I am writing down my impressions of the incredibly moving, “A Luminous Future” by Dr. Teodor Flonta. How are these two related? Well, I think so many people in my position take our freedoms for granted, even if we think we don’t. As I prepare to celebrate my country’s Independence Day, I am struck by the fact that not only are many others denied the same freedoms we enjoy, but that they can be so viciously and cruelly mistreated in the name of a political faction. If I was being honest with myself, would I have had the strength and courage as Teodor Flonta and his family if I was in their shoes? I honestly don’t know. And that is why I was so impressed with this book and so moved by their actions. I have a feeling this story will stay with me for a long time, and I’ve already given it to my oldest daughter to read (she’s in college). Thank you for sharing this marvelous story with the world, and God Bless you and your lovely family!
The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky
on July 10, 2014
Thank you, David Litwack for this touching and heart-warming story! It’s such a refreshing change from the depressing dystopia I’ve been reading lately. I enjoyed this as I have the other books from Mr. Litwack. He not only weaves interesting and complex tales, but does so with some of the loveliest prose I’ve seen from any author anywhere. But he doesn’t go overboard and keeps the story flowing at a nice and steady rhythm. It’s hard not to read too fast because you want to know what happens, but at the same time struggle to pace yourself so that it’s not over too soon! This is a harder book to define exactly what type it is, as it definitely has a slightly sci/fi/fantasy/alternative history vibe, but at the same time feels current and realistic (for the most part). The characters are believable and endearing. A strong message that leaves us satisfied, yet still wanting more. Simply delightful. Highly recommend.
on June 13, 2015
I was hooked pretty early on in Planet Woman by Judith Rook and my interest never wavered for a moment! I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I HATE books that are super predictable. And this one definitely isn’t. Although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play, the author brings a fresh voice and makes it all her own. I’ve read a ton of fantasy and science fiction over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it. I appreciated the solid pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – world building is absolutely crucial in selling a ‘fantasy’ story and it is done quite nicely here… brilliantly at times, actually. I’d like to see this book go into a series as there is so much potential with these amazing characters! Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, action packed, alternative-reality novel with unexpected twists.
The Prince: Lucifer's Origins
on Oct. 26, 2015
I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I really love this cover! But fortunately what’s inside is even better! I almost feel like I just read 5 books, so much happens and it’s hard to just sum up (but there are several reviews that already describe the plot in detail so I won’t here). The writing is great, and for me that really can make or break a book, even if the plot is “familiar”. But I was constantly surprised by things as they unfolded, and liked that none of the characters were predictable. In fact for me it was the characters who really sold this book for me. Don’t get me wrong, the world-building was great too, I just really enjoyed the relationship dynamics and how they played of one another. I read this book in the span of 3 nights which for me is pretty fast. Will definitely be reading more from Mr. Erickson soon. Highly recommend for fans of sci/fi
The End of Summer
on Nov. 05, 2015
I read a lot of books in this arena, so this is a genre I’m fairly familiar with. Although “The End of Summer” 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 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 did notice some editing things, and thought the formatting was a bit wonky at times, but it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story any. This author crafts an authentic, engrossing novel, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Irving Munro soon.
What's Left is Right
on Nov. 05, 2015
I really enjoyed “What’s Left is Right”, perhaps even more than the other book I read in this series, as I thought this one to be much better written, and the plot more fully-realized. The editing was markedly improved as well, and the story still maintained the elements that I enjoyed in the first one, how it has some surprising twists and it wasn’t predictable or cliché, which is a rare find in this genre. Liked the witty dialogue and the local Texas flavor and history. Overall a well-rounded, nicely polished murder mystery that is authentic, engaging, and entertaining.
The Kidnapping of Inda Jackson
on Dec. 09, 2015
to say this is totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before would be an understatement! I’m not sure how to even describe this book as SO much happens, and it seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects. It seems almost like a nonfiction story, yet it is clearly made up, yet very intelligently so. Strong, dynamic leads and gorgeous backdrops of the South and abroad. I think that you need to take your time while reading it to really grasp everything that is going on (don’t be like me and rush through it in 2 nights!) take your time and enjoy the ride and all the crazy ups and downs. Have some tissues nearby! The author also has a great “voice” in spinning these complex and intelligent plotlines all together. Well done, Cher Foth… Oh, and I absolutely love that cover!
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
on Jan. 07, 2016
"The Urban Boys: Discovery of Five Senses” by K.N. Smith is hands down one of the most original and well-crafted YA paranormal novels I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the opening pages, and absolutely loved the author’s use of description of the different scenery and locales, and her attention to detail, especially with the characters. We feel transported not only into the various characters’ heads, but the places they are, and it was a fun escape from reality. This novel covers so, so much it’s impossible to sum up, and it was interesting to see how it all tied together but there will still be more to come. An epic literary feat, to be certain, well written and with beautiful narrative. I was really impressed and would recommend this book with the highest of praise to fans of YA adventure/action/light fantasy.
Gallery Pieces: An Art Mystery
on Feb. 02, 2016
I’ll admit that “Gallery Pieces” wouldn’t be my normal type of read (I’m more of a fantasy and romance gal) but I’ve been wanting to read more out of my comfort zone lately and expand my tastes… the premise and sample looked intriguing so I thought I’d give it a chance. I’d so glad I did! It was far more exciting than I would’ve guessed, and I found myself flipping the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen. I liked how everything came full circle at the end, and how the story was set amongst a backdrop that is unfamiliar to me and I feel like it opened my eyes a lot. I like art as much as the next person, but I’m no expert and I will never look at it the same way again! It broadened my perspectives - That was cool. This was a fast read with lots of exciting twists and turns, and I think that Larry made an art crime-novel fan out of me!
Show Up Dead
on March 09, 2016
I'll admit that “Show up Dead” wouldn’t be my normal type of read (I’m more of a fantasy and romance gal) but I’ve been wanting to read more out of my comfort zone lately and expand my tastes… the premise and sample looked intriguing so I thought I’d give it a chance. I’d so glad I did! It was far more exciting than I would’ve guessed, and I found myself flipping the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen. I was totally wrapped up in the drama and loved Peri, Melissa,Ma, (and the others) and really felt like I was part of the whole experience, from start to finish. There were some really shocking twists that you *really* don’t expect with the characters, and I liked how everything came together in the end… was really unusual. This was a quick read with lots of exciting twists and turns, and I think that Lisa Shiroff made a murder/mystery novel fan out of me!
Friend & Foe
on April 01, 2016
It took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going. But the more I read the more I got into it, and thoroughly enjoyed this world and characters Nik Olsen created. It’s weird to think it’s actually fiction as parts really seem real, and are relatable to current times. I have a feeling that this books and the characters and their fates will stay with me for some time. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Olsen in the future as he is truly a gifted storyteller AND writer (not necessarily the same thing…)
Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
on May 27, 2016
I was hooked from the first pages of “Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” and my interest never faded for a moment! I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build with tension and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I hate books that are super predictable. And this one isn’t. Although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play, and you will recognize real figures and events (thinly disguised) the author brings a fresh attitude and literary style and makes it all his own and doesn’t just rehash ‘real life’. But there is plenty of that here too, which makes this book unique. I’ve read a ton of political-action thrillers & suspense over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it. I appreciated the brisk pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – authentic world building (and character development) is absolutely crucial in selling a believable story and it is done quite nicely here… Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, action packed, true-to-life political thriller with unexpected twists.
on July 21, 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 Rich Tenaglia’s unique “voice” and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were ingenious, funny, deep, smart, and not predictable, and the element of having it set in ancient Rome (and current times) was a new angle for me— I usually only read contemporary novels. Have to say I think it made it even better! The characters were all interesting and well-written, and although there were some times that I thought it was a bit slow and needed some more tension, like I never really thought that all wouldn’t end up okay, and sometimes I like that heightened tension. But I loved the overall message and want to read more from this author in the future.
on April 24, 2017
Yikes, this is inspired by ‘true events’? Crazy. “Lucid Nightmare” was well-written and kept my attention the whole way through. There is some setting up the stage of action on the beginning, and I did think it took a bit too long to get to all the paranormal/creepy/scary stuff (about ½ way in….) and for such a short book I just would have liked to get to that part sooner. But once it starts we are quickly caught up with the bizarre, surreal blend of Clay’s dreams and how they are threatening his real life. The characters are good, and there are some surprising turn of events I didn’t see coming. It is a quick read, one I finished in the course of an evening. I was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened, and thought the tension and narrative and dialogue all was great. I will be looking forward to reading more books from E. Clay soon. Recommend reading for fans of literary novellas with a darker twist.
The Redemption of Charlie McCoy
on July 24, 2017
I’m a huge fan of crime, mystery and suspense and I read them all the time. Unfortunately, after a while many of them start to feel the same, like many authors---especially new ones---are using the same recycled plot over and over again. But I like trying out new authors and thought the premise of “The Redemption of Charlie McCoy” sounded interesting, and I liked that it had more of a ‘character’ angle with Charlie and his relationship with his daughter (rather than just being about the crimes/action (if that makes sense). But while I fully admit I didn’t have the highest expectations going in…well, consider me blown away! I read “Redemption…” in a few short nights, quite a feat considering I have no free time! Christopher Wilsher is a natural writer, and I was sucked in by the way he weaved so many interesting characters and twisted individual plotlines together to create a wholly addicting story that I couldn’t put down until the final, satisfying conclusion. It was really fast-paced with snappy dialogue and super short chapters that were free from many clichés that riddle this genre, but when they are there they work okay. I was curious to see how this would all work out in the end, and I wasn’t at all disappointed, even though it’s not really how you expect it to end – but it works for the spirit of the story. A thought-provoking read that is different from much out there that is solidly- written and professionally executed. Recommend for fans of mystery/suspense/drama.
on Nov. 25, 2017
"Getting Gay” was an interesting experience for me. On one hand, the premise is very unique, emotionally powerful, well thought-out and executed, and the writing was itself excellent with narrative that is raw, edgy, gritty and real. But I felt that at times the dialogue with the characters felt sort of unnecessary, and there were some parts that I thought were a little over the top and almost unbelievable. It took me awhile to get into it, but I will say that once I did I was hooked! I also felt that several (but not all) scenes and situations and conversations didn’t add enough value or tension to the overall plot (or they could have been consolidated). I think the ending was far better than the beginning, and once I was done I was glad I’d read it because there really is an important story here that should be read and appreciated. I think this author actually has a ton of potential and I can see a lot of people enjoying this, despite the dark subject matter. Many young men have suffered sexual/physical abuse and it is nothing to be ashamed of – and reading about a character who faces these awful situations and overcomes them is an inspiring and empowering experience. Lots of language and some sensitive scenes, so best recommended for very mature teens or adults.
on Feb. 07, 2018
I’ll admit that “Flatline” wouldn’t be my normal type of read (I’m more of a fantasy and romance gal) but I’ve been wanting to read more out of my comfort zone lately and expand my tastes… the premise and opening sample looked intriguing so I thought I’d give it a chance. I’d so glad I did! It was far more exciting than I would’ve guessed, and I found myself flipping the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen. I was totally wrapped up in the complex drama really felt like I was part of the whole experience, from seeing Janice get murdered, to seeing Peter *die* (more than once), to the secrets revealed and the connections to Khang…there were some really shocking twists that you *really* don’t expect with the characters, and I liked how everything came full circle at the end, it was weirdly bittersweet and totally worked. This was a quick read with lots of exciting twists and turns, and I think that Dana Barney a suspense/ thriller-novel fan out of me! I’d happily read more from him in the future
on Sep. 22, 2018
what a well-written and well-crafted novel! I am not usually all that impressed with the writing styles of many NA author’s these days, as they seem to try to dumb it down and talk with as much snark and attitude as possible and use sex as the main crux of the books. But I was impressed with Jennifer Ann Shore’s prose and the character building had more depth than just hot sex )(thank goodness). But it is still sexy! It starts like a small stream, flowing softly, and then gets bigger and deeper with the waters raging into an ocean storm (pardon the terrible comparisons with the book themes, lol). Even if at times I thought there needed more action, it is so well written, and the dialogue and conversations with the characters were authentic and perfect for the age and genre. You can’t fake that in my opinion. I for one have never read a book that had such a readable storyline about something that could easily be so cliché! (but wasn’t) I did think that it needed higher stakes or more tension however… things just ‘happen’, but there are no real risks or consequences (not until way later, at least)… But I liked the storyline and was engaged until the end. Ends almost mid scene (but there is an epilogue after, not that it wraps it up any better…), but this is just the first of the series so there’s more to come