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Smashwords book reviews by glraines

  • The Eyes that See - A Prelude to the Balancer Chronicles on June 03, 2011

    (Received via Member Giveaways at LibraryThing.) The Eyes that See is a nice little prequel to Legacy. I enjoyed the premise and the characters enough to make me want to read more. Having said that, I have a couple of quibbles with the story. One is entirely personal, the informal writing tone was a bit wearying for me. Another is that, throughout the read (and Legacy as well), I found one thing to be irritatingly distracting: malapropisms and a few misplaced commas and quotation marks. For me, it is a combination of noticing these types of things anyway and working as a proofreader. The ones I noticed in the Prelude are {what was in book vs. what was more appropriate): thought vs. taught (dedication), counsel vs. council (p 11), ring vs. wring (p 19), all ready vs. already (p 33), and invincible vs. invisible (p 34). (Cross-posted to LibraryThing,, and Goodreads.)
  • Legacy - Book One of the Balancer Chronicles on June 03, 2011

    (3.5 / 5) (Received via Member Giveaways at LibraryThing.) As with the (much shorter) prequel, I enjoyed the premise, the characters, and the story that introduces the Balancers in a more in-depth manner than the prequel. Having said that, I do share the opinion with another reviewer that I would have liked the book better if it had been told from James' point of view outright rather than simply put forth in the form of a journal. Also, like with the prequel, I found the malapropisms (and two misspellings - at one point focussed had 3 "s" and Lyons had its s missing (Lyon as was used in the book is the chief herald of Scotland as opposed to the city in France)) to be distracting. So too was the character diction, especially James'. First, the diction. Some language shift can be accounted for during the years that James has lived, and this is a work of fiction, but James is a product of the 15th century and this should be reflected (to a point) in at least some of his speech patterns. Maybe I am being a bit of a nitpick, but there it is. Now, for the malapropisms. Again, I may be a bit of a nitpick about this, but I find it a little irritating to be distracted by words that may SOUND as if they belong in the sentence but are not necessarily the proper word. For example, peace instead of piece (p 293), "my conscious" instead of "my conscience" (p 106), morns instead of mourns (p 258). These are just a few of the approximately half page of malapropisms I found while reading. (Cross-posted to LibraryThing,, and Goodreads.)
  • The Second Fly Caster: Fatherhood, Recovery and an Unforgettable Tournament on June 16, 2011

    The Second Fly Caster is a story about appearances, what matters and what doesn't, perceptions, and relationships. It is also a story about how we see others and how that affects our perceptions and relationships. Although, being a non-fishing person (generally speaking), I don't entirely "get" the fishing metaphor, the quote that best summarizes the story for me is: "Maybe Shane Riley was a figment of the old stranger's imagination." My father's eyes opened real wide. "Or maybe he wasn't, and maybe if he had showed up--you see, the truth I've finally come to see is that fly casting isn't about competing against others. It's about finding ways of getting better and better and of competing against ourselves and then it's about one day accepting that, even though we've never made a perfect fly cast, we've made the best cast we can. I'm sorry if that sounds corny, but at least it isn't a lie."