Carla Biggins

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Carla Biggins

  • A Luminous Future on July 02, 2012

    This would be a great book to have read in college or even high school as it really humanizes the effects of communism, not just tells about it in a matter of fact way. Textbooks talk about “farmers” and “peasants” and “workers”, but we never really connect with them as “people” – people like us. That is what struck me most about this book, was that Teodor, his mother and father, his grandparents, his friends, neighbors, etc…any one of them was just like us. Like me. Like you. From the mischievous actions of a school boy, to the first loves, to the stress and strain of a family under constant scrutiny— so many things that we can all relate to, yet so many extraordinary things that most of us will never have to face. The endurance and struggles the family goes through was so beautifully written I admit I had tears in my eyes more than once. And I was sad to see the end, but loved looking at the lovely faces from the past, ones I’d forged a connection with. I cannot recommend this book enough, I’ll be singing its praises to whomever will listen. Thank you so much for writing this amazing book!
  • The Crow God's Girl on Aug. 06, 2012

    Normally fantasy isn’t really my favorite genre, but I’ve been trying to expand my reading list lately and thought the “Crow God’s Girl” by Patrice Sarath sounded interesting. And I am glad I gave it a chance! I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this epic YA fantasy. I almost read it in one night, but it turned into two (dang sleep!) I love the alternate world of Aeritan the author imagined, and thought all of the characters (and there is a lot of them!) really came to life on the pages. There were some minor editing things, but nothing major that hindered my enjoyment any. All in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
  • Margaret of the North on Aug. 22, 2012

    Being totally unfamiliar with the story that “Margaret of the North” is based on (the series “North and South”), I was able to read and appreciate this book with a clear and open mind. I immediately was drawn into the story of Margaret and John and loved watching their romance unfold. The author did a wonderful job of taking my imagination to another time and place and keeping it there. The characters were well-rounded and dynamic, the storyline engaging and intricate, and the descriptions clear and vivid. Almost everything I could want for in a great book. It is a bit on the long side compared to what I am used to, but in my opinion it was well worth the read.
  • Angels Gate on Sep. 26, 2012

    Four friends decide that they want to move to Costa Rica, so they decide to start smuggling in drugs (naturally). But it doesn’t stop there…they soon become unwitting recipients of what could be a windfall worth billions…problem is it isn’t as cash, but bonds that need to be laundered at a loss. But they will still make out like bandits if they are successful and if they can get away with it with the FBI hot on their trail. The main guy August is probably the most interesting character and he is well developed (more so than some of the others). I appreciated the fact that this story was presented in a factual manner, yet was written in a way that made it feel like I was reading a fiction crime-drama novel. The authors, Andrew Rafkin and Louis Pagano, are most talented and I will be reading more of their other works very soon.
  • Connecting the Dots: Man, God, Angels, and Demons on Sep. 07, 2015

    wow, what an amazing book! I was completely sucked in from the beginning, and am so impressed with Dave Shaw’s brilliant insights and ability to pull from scripture the most applicable passages to underscore his message. It is clear that he is quite scholarly in regards to Biblical Study (as his bio mentions) and that, combined with his analytical way of thinking leads him to probe deeper into certain parts of the Bible that caused him some confusion, and to look at the bigger picture of God’s Master Plan, and how it all ties together with Demons (Lucifer), the Angel Society, and Man’s function on Earth. This was so well-written and absolutely riveting. It is not a fast read, but should be carefully and thoughtfully studied and pondered. So many great discussion points here, almost wish I could have dinner with Mr. Shaw. Would be a fascinating conversation! Highly recommend for everyone.
  • Hidden Bible Taboos Forbidden By Organized Christianity (A Se7en Dimensional Guide to the Ancient Path Way and The Underground Church) on Jan. 14, 2016

    I will start by saying this is a wonderful book that I liked much more than I was expecting to! I have read several books on theology and sometimes I get the sense that most are just recycling old information. Well, for this book it seems like I read a lot of new ideas presented in a new way. The content was mostly new to me and laid out in a simple way that is well-written and very easy to follow. James Slobodzien uses his extensive expertise to share his insightful, if not controversial, interactive take on certain elements of religious doctrine and its many – often secretive— roles in society and how it influences human events. Some parts are more interesting than others, some were too ‘dry’ and esoteric for my tastes, but overall it is fast paced, informative, and easy to read… at times impossible to put down! I recommend this book, “Hidden Bible Taboos…” to anyone who wants to attain greater spiritual awareness and see a different side of Christian beliefs that you maybe haven’t realized before. Read it with an open mind and you will be impressed.
  • The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses on Jan. 14, 2016

    first, I have to say that I don’t normally read books like this, but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on K.N. Smith’s “The Urban Boys”! This was a captivating novel and very impressive for a debut. There is such strong, vivid writing, and the characters are all fascinating, flawed, and going through their own drama. GREAT character development, and everything just felt “beautiful” for lack of a better word – even though some parts are dark. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…The formatting is messed up (all left justified) and it could use some proofing. But all in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing …try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
  • Gol on Feb. 17, 2016

    I almost feel like I just read 5 different books instead of just one – SO much happens, it would be impossible to sum up (I don’t do that anyways). And based on just the description, I think I expected something different… I think I expected more of a romance, and while that aspect is definitely there, it takes a side seat to the bigger picture. However, overall this book felt a bit flat to me as I never felt as connected to the characters as I would have liked. There seemed to be an emotional disconnect that would’ve made us feel more sympathetic towards them. We are always kept at arm’s length, watching the characters go through the steps and sequences of events, but I didn’t really feel the emotional investment that I like to while reading. But there is some great world building and terrific action, fight scenes and some really creative storylines with the Elementals and with Ashmale. So overall a decent book that will appeal to fans of high fantasy, and is probably most appropriate for adults as there is some sex, language, and violent scenes, as to be expected.
  • Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on April 24, 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, the more wrapped up I got in this world and characters G.A. Beller 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 book and the characters and their fates will stay with me for some time. I thought the overall plot and narration was good, but it could have used a bit more polish as there was some long stretches of ‘telling’ of the events (as opposed to ‘showing’ us to bring us closer to the action). It’d didn’t ruin the book, but would make it better if was more intimately connected, in my opinion. Nevertheless I look forward to reading more from Mr. Beller in the future as he is truly a gifted storyteller AND writer (not necessarily the same thing…)
  • Friend & Foe on May 01, 2016

    4.5 stars I knew by the 20% mark that I would really love this book and it would go on my “favorites” shelf, and I was right! I admit I had no real expectations when starting it, seeing as how I’d never read the author before and the description felt a bit “wide-reaching” to me. Wondered if he’d pull it off, and I truly believe he did! I was so immersed in this book and impressed with the level of detailing on almost every single aspect. A lesser author would have glossed over some of these scenes that Nik Olsen carefully and masterfully brought to life in a memorable way. The characters of Joe and Ben felt real, and the way they tell their stories we really see it through their eyes and feel like we are there. Liked the twist at the end, and will like to read the next one when it’s published. Recommend.
  • Time is for Dragonflies and Angels on Jan. 06, 2017

    although Science fiction/ fantasy/ dystopian is not my favorite genre I have read a few other books by this author in the past and was really captivated by his storytelling and the way that he pulls us into these crazy, unique and seemingly far-fetched situations and realities, yet does so in a way that is strangely believable. Like some of it could happen (crazy, I know, but that’s how it feels). Like his other books have been, I found this one “Time is for Dragonflies and Angels” to be just as good as the others… better, even because this book has 5 ‘books’ in it! Great descriptions – I could always picture everything (and everyone) perfectly. It did keep me engaged, and I liked the length of these stories… short enough to read a few in a sitting or two, but not so short where you don’t feel like you experienced anything…quite the opposite, actually. I like Mr. Erickson’s edgy and creative writing style very much, and found myself completely lost in his unique worlds and bizarre, twisted, and even ordinary characters. Although I did enjoy some stories more than others, I was almost disappointed when I was finished because I wanted to read more. Recommend for adults.
  • Harrow's Gate on Jan. 06, 2017

    "Harrow’s Gate” by Lawrence BoarerPitchford is one of the more creative and unusual and uniquely-styled novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading lately. I became interested in the story right away with and really grew to root for Leland and Ella and company as they embark on their crazy journey. Thought the romance with Leland and Ella was sweet and didn’t overshadow the plot, but it does take a backseat to the bigger story. It took me a little bit to get used to the author’s unique writing style, and while I did enjoy it, there were times that the pacing was not to my liking, and I feel that there were way too many characters and most didn’t feel like anything more than names to me. No real sense of identity except for maybe a handful of them. By the ending it was almost confusing and hard to keep track of who was who and why I should care. Also, I was unsure who was doing the ‘reports’ at the beginning of each chapter. I don’t think that was ever made clear. However it didn’t lessen my overall enjoyment of the book very much and I loved the dialogue with the characters – very genuine and real and with lots of attitude – love it! More dramatic and witty and fantastical than a typical novel, “Harrow’s Gate” has many interweaving plotlines and crosses genres to keep you totally hooked right up until the end, which was very nice – emotionally satisfying to see how it all played out even if parts felt rushed or confusing to me. Suitable for mature teens on up.