Cory Banyan


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Smashwords book reviews by Cory Banyan

  • A Luminous Future on June 22, 2012

    Now that I have finished reading “A Luminous Future” by Teodor Flonta, I’m wondering what took me so long to read it in the first place! It came highly recommended to me by a trusted friend of mine, but even so I kept reading other books in its place. Finally, one night I clicked on the opening chapters intending to only read a few pages that evening. Imagine my surprise when the next thing I knew I was almost 60% of the way done, and no intention of stopping until I had reached the end! I felt almost physically pulled into this strange, yet familiar world, and refused to leave until I saw and heard all there was to experience. Sometimes this story was scary, sometimes sad. Sometimes profound, sometimes lighthearted and funny. I loved every page and cannot recommend it higher. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it, but am glad I finally did. It was a brilliantly written and moving tale, one I won’t likely soon forget.
  • Return of the Crown on Feb. 03, 2013

    Overall I thought that “The Return of the Crown” was an impressive novel that I would have no problem recommending to my friends and family. I was immediately pulled into the story, and thought the author did an excellent job of world-building and keeping the action moving forward. It is very well written, although at times I thought it could use some trimming as the pace seemed to slow with some unnecessary descriptions or superfluous events that seemed to take us in circles at times. But this ranks up there with some of the better YA fantasies I’ve read, and would encourage fans of the genre to give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism on Dec. 23, 2013

    I think that MANY MANY MANY GODS OF HINDUISM by author Swami Achuthananda is exactly the type of book that students should read when learning about other cultures. When its presented in this way, it comes off less as a teaching text book, but more like an interesting novel, with the stories and background information. It is almost like plots weaving themselves together. I had no preconceived notions regarding Hinduism good or bad…frankly I never gave it much thought. (I’d never heard of it as being “wicked” or “evil” or “pagan” like the author notes)But now that I’ve read this book I feel like my eyes have been opened in an unexpected way and I’m happy that I’m so much more aware of one of the worlds’ largest religions. I’m giving this to my fifteen-year-old son to read next. Excellent job, a terrific book.
  • Thadius on Nov. 22, 2014

    an intriguing and captivating novel that provides more than one unexpected twist, “Thadius” is a unique take on the standard Roman era historical novel that always just seems to focus on battles and fighting. In this book, two men (Thadius and Dominus) go from their relaxing retired life to traveling on a perilous journey tracking down a killer who is leaving a string of corpses behind to uncover the surprising motive (and person responsible) for the planned attacks. I liked that it wasn’t predictable and it had some very good descriptions. I felt like I was really ‘inside’ the story and I love that. However, I do feel like it could have benefited from a proofreader as there were several instances of some editing mistakes, and occasionally it was a tad confusing (like having different speakers in the same paragraph or missing punctuation). I really enjoyed the book overall and would recommend to others
  • The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses on Feb. 01, 2016

    at first I admit I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into in deciding to read this book. Because admittedly I do tend to lean towards more contemporary adult literature because I enjoy the message and life lessons. But I was intrigued by the description and the writing sample and the way that I felt an almost immediate connection to not only the interesting characters, but with the way that K.N. Smith was writing them, (I thought Druth and The Dark Stranger were especially interesting) and I found myself just wanting to read more… and more… and more… and I couldn’t believe it when I realized I was totally hooked, and even totally enjoyed the exciting paranormal and action scenes! But seriously, I felt transported to another world just by experiencing the lives of these incredible characters who are so true to life and authentic-feeling, yet unlike any I’ve met before. Like that the plot felt like it had a deeper meaning that we could all relate do, and I’m really glad I took a chance on this one…
  • Gol on Feb. 01, 2016

    I really enjoyed “Gol” by author J.W. Webb, even though “epic” fantasy isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I recently read another book by this author, “the Haven” , and I like watching “Game of Thrones” so I gave it a shot. I was really impressed! I really liked the drawings (and the map), and thought that Mr. Webb did such a wonderful job with the descriptions of the world and the different characters. There are SO many of them it’s hard to keep track (there is a useful guide at the end), but I did fall in love with Lissane and Erun and was so shocked at some things that happened. Emotionally engaging and with lots of action. Some language, especially towards the last half (book 2) but other than that it feels pretty suitable for mature teens on up. I had a great time reading this!
  • Gallery Pieces: An Art Mystery on Feb. 02, 2016

    "Gallery Pieces” by Larry Witham is one of the most creative and best-written novels I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go with the atmospheric opening that grounds us in the ‘artistic’ viewpoint right away…and absolutely loved the author’s use of description of the different settings, and his attention to detailing in the characterizations and the world-building. I’ve never read any “art mystery’ books before but am familiar with the concept and I enjoyed how complex and totally addicting it was!!Leo Medici and Julian Peale are great, dynamic characters, (as is the rest of the supporting cast) and it really caught me by surprise how much I enjoyed all of it, and it was much deeper and more philosophically ‘complex’ than I’d expected it to be. Excellent editing and formatting – very professionally presented all around. I will love to read more if there will be any! Recommend to fans of adventure and suspense.