Tea

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Tea

  • Paradox - The Angels Are Here (Book 1) on Oct. 02, 2011

    Firstly, I want to comment on how gorgeous the cover for this is. And even inside the ebook version, the grgeous patterns are carried through, which I was really impressed with. This book has two aspects to the story – one focusing on Angels in their own dimension, and the other focusing on the events down here on Earth, and especially those events pertinent to a young girl named Grace, who is clearly important to the angels, though this book doesn’t give away how. Grace’s story is very moving – a young girl whose world is changing, especially when her father, whom she idolizes, dies in an accident. One thing that I noticed about this is that the grief Grace feels is almost tangible – it’s written about so realistically. There’s nothing over the top, and as a reader, I really felt for Grace and her mother in their joint struggle to get through a difficult time. The progression is good throughout, and the reader sees Grace change from somewhat of a loner into a normal, happy, social young girl. It’s obvious, though, that Grace is special, because her ‘imaginary’ friend as a child comes in the form of an Angel called Hope, who tells her not to speak of her to anyone else, though somehow her father knows of the connection. Then, when she does make a ‘flesh-and-blood’ friend, it’s clear that the girl isn’t ‘normal’, and it will be interesting in the second book to see how this progresses. In terms of the warring Angels aspect to the story, the idea in this book is that there are two warring families, and the events which occur in their war directly effect things on Earth – for instance, natural disasters. The characters in the Angel dimension were interesting, and slightly disturbing – an aspect I really enjoyed. Again, I’m interested to see where this goes in the next book. Overall, there are a few small typing errors I noticed in this, but nothing so major that it detracts from the story. I enjoyed the book – and one of my only complaints is that I could have kept on reading! I’d like to have heard more about the war between the Angels, and been more clued in as to how exactly it affects things on Earth. That said, it might just be my own curiosity! Definitely a good read, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the second.
  • Books of the Immortals - Air on Oct. 02, 2011

    So, this was my first visit to the world of Silvery Earth, and I have to say, I enjoyed what I saw. In this world, magical creatures with mythical names (e.g. Sila, Fajrulo) live alongside the humans, and four Immortals – Earth, Air, Ether, Fire and Water champion the different races. This book really wasn’t what I was expecting, but in a good way. I’m going to say here and now that there are certain points in the book where there are mature themes. There are points where characters within the book use intercourse and sexuality as a means of control or power, which was interesting to read, as it isn’t so very different to what can happen in the real world. These areas of the book, I felt, were well written, and whilst these themes were mentioned throughout, it wasn’t overbearing, and at no point did it seem to overshadow the actual storyline. However, due to these themes, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to younger readers. I appreciated the attention to detail on the descriptions of the races – especially characteristics – such as the Fajrulo not being particularly social or able to love. These are also consistent throughout, which helps make Silvery Earth into a tangible world. Of course, this is also helped by the descriptions of the differing cultures within the world, which vary by Kingdom. I felt that there were comparisons to be made between the inhabitants of various areas of Silvery Earth and specific cultures on Earth, but again, that added to the believability of the world. Another important element in this book is the descriptions of the goings on in The Sect – a dark religious minority, with serious amounts of power. The descriptions were vivid, but left enough to the imagination that as a reader I was always left wondering what would happen next. I have to admit, I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did – I ended up really caring for the characters, and hoping that each got the ending that they deserved. I also enjoyed the way that Tarn tied all the loose endings together by the end of the book – something which is often not managed as cohesively as this example. Overall, I really enjoyed this book – a good read, and I can foresee myself returning to Silvery Earth to read more in the future. Recommended for anyone into epic fantasy.
  • Leftover Shorts on Oct. 17, 2011
    (no rating)
    Normally, I don’t read short stories. Collections of short stories just aren’t my thing – they don’t give me enough time to get into the story, much less start enjoying it. However, when I was approached with a review copy of this book, I thought I’d give it a go – variety is the spice of life, after all. I’m actually glad I did – the three stories in this collection are all very different from each other, and written in an interesting way. The first story, The Marshmallow War focuses on office politics in a humorous way – looking at the way companies tend to confuse youth with innovation. I appreciated the somewhat crazy ideas that the marketing company in the story came up with, especially the marshmallow guns, and the sticking marshmallows together – and their way of getting rid of their co-workers in the process. This story had a lighthearted feel, though the ‘message’ was fairly obvious, right from the offset. This was the longest story in the collection, and therefore probably the most complex, but it was an enjoyable read, and I’m pretty sure I was grinning like an idiot throughout. The second story, The Peripheral Witches, looks at how our own negative thoughts can be demonized by looking at Miriam, a young single mother, who keeps seeing witches in her peripheral vision, though they disappear when she looks directly. It’s an interesting little story, though this is the one, I think, that I personally enjoyed the least in the book. The third story follows the execution of a criminal, Billy Parsons, and how the townspeople who convicted him eventually saw (too late, unfortunately) that there was more to the man than his crimes. I enjoyed this one, despite the melancholy tone, and I almost wish this had been written into something longer. It’s the shortest in the collection, but it’s almost like there’s a novella or even a whole novel in there somewhere. Overall, these tales were all very different from each other, and after finishing each I found myself thinking about what the meanings were behind them. I don’t know if I was reading into them too deeply, or maybe even not enough. This book made a nice, quick read, and it was refreshing, because it’s very different to what I’d normally read. I enjoyed this.
  • Andrew and the Quest of Orion's Belt (Rise of the Fallen) on Nov. 01, 2011
    (no rating)
    When I was asked to review this, I read the synopsis, and thought it sounded like a light and fun read. It definitely provided that, though it wasn’t the YA that I sort of expected, I’d call this more mid-range. One of my favourite things about this novel is the range of creatures – and the fact that they all had fun, imaginative names and characteristics. It’s clear that the author has some serious imagination, and I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the early manifestations of Andrew’s power, though I have to admit, when he suddenly discovered his various other ones, I did start to get a little confused! The storyline of this book moves along at a good pace – things happen quickly, and the quiet parts don’t last for long. My only criticism is that it feels a bit like you’re bounced from one event to the next sometimes, and it might be a little hard to keep up. I also felt a bit like the story meandered away from the main storyline a little too often – I felt like I was losing track of what was actually meant to be going on because I was distracted by the sidestory. The characters in the book were well-written and definitely gave me a few smiles, with my personal favourite being Gogingy, just for pure fun-factor. They also appeared to mature throughout the story, which was good, as they seemed very ‘young’ to me at the beginning. Besides, having to save the world is going to make anyone grow up quickly! I notice that in this review, I’ve said the word fun a whole lot, and I think that’s really what this book is. It’s pure, unadulterated fun in an interesting fantasy setting, with a good epic quest to keep the characters – and the readers – busy. There are also some good quality illustrations, which just add to the charm and feeling of the book – really, I’m a sucker for nice touches. I’d recommend this book to younger readers – or those who want something nice and easy to keep them busy – or those who want a fantasy book where things don’t get overly complicated with hugely expansive and complex storylines. Definitely give it a read ☺
  • Paradox - Progeny Of Innocence on Dec. 09, 2011

    I was really excited when I got asked if I’d like a review copy of the second book in the series. I enjoyed The Angels are Here but I had loads and loads of questions after finishing the book, which I assumed would be answered further in the story – and let’s just say that in Progeny of Innocence, a lot of my questions were answered. Firstly, I should say that the attention to detail in this book is every bit as good as in the first – there is still good artwork within the book, and ...moreI was really excited when I got asked if I’d like a review copy of the second book in the series. I enjoyed The Angels are Here but I had loads and loads of questions after finishing the book, which I assumed would be answered further in the story – and let’s just say that in Progeny of Innocence, a lot of my questions were answered. Firstly, I should say that the attention to detail in this book is every bit as good as in the first – there is still good artwork within the book, and it really does add a nice touch to the story. I know looks aren’t everything, but it can certainly help! Secondly I should say that I enjoyed Grace a lot more as a character in this book than in the previous. She’s no longer a little girl, which made her much more relatable for me, and it’s also gradually becoming more clear why exactly she’s so special, and why she needs protection. Obviously in this review I’m trying not to give too much away, but there are definitely new dimensions added to Grace’s character. I also appreciated Angela more in this book, and I liked the continuity of her character. Roberts clearly hasn’t forgotten what made Angela so interesting to her readers, and she definitely provides some comic relief when needed, even when she’s clearly not trying to. One of my main problems with the previous book was the lack of information regarding the Angel’s world, and how the war from there is affecting the human world. Again, this is addressed in this book, and a large chunk at the beginning of the novel is set in the Angel’s world, and really describes what’s going on there, as well as adding new threads to the story – which I will be interested in seeing where they lead. Also, without giving too much away, I think that following this book, the effects of the Ancient world on our world is going to become a whole lot more obvious. This book really captivated my attention, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself whilst reading it. The first book was good, but this book was much better, in my opinion. Roberts really has a gift for keeping the story flowing nicely, and giving enough away to keep the reader in the loop, whilst they’re still hanging on to find exact details. For anyone who hasn’t read the first book, both books are available in a double pack special edition now, and I’d totally recommend that to them. However, if you have read the first book, I’d totally recommend this – I really enjoyed it.
  • Paradox - Progeny Of Innocence on Dec. 09, 2011

    I was really excited when I got asked if I’d like a review copy of the second book in the series. I enjoyed The Angels are Here but I had loads and loads of questions after finishing the book, which I assumed would be answered further in the story – and let’s just say that in Progeny of Innocence, a lot of my questions were answered. Firstly, I should say that the attention to detail in this book is every bit as good as in the first – there is still good artwork within the book, and ...moreI was really excited when I got asked if I’d like a review copy of the second book in the series. I enjoyed The Angels are Here but I had loads and loads of questions after finishing the book, which I assumed would be answered further in the story – and let’s just say that in Progeny of Innocence, a lot of my questions were answered. Firstly, I should say that the attention to detail in this book is every bit as good as in the first – there is still good artwork within the book, and it really does add a nice touch to the story. I know looks aren’t everything, but it can certainly help! Secondly I should say that I enjoyed Grace a lot more as a character in this book than in the previous. She’s no longer a little girl, which made her much more relatable for me, and it’s also gradually becoming more clear why exactly she’s so special, and why she needs protection. Obviously in this review I’m trying not to give too much away, but there are definitely new dimensions added to Grace’s character. I also appreciated Angela more in this book, and I liked the continuity of her character. Roberts clearly hasn’t forgotten what made Angela so interesting to her readers, and she definitely provides some comic relief when needed, even when she’s clearly not trying to. One of my main problems with the previous book was the lack of information regarding the Angel’s world, and how the war from there is affecting the human world. Again, this is addressed in this book, and a large chunk at the beginning of the novel is set in the Angel’s world, and really describes what’s going on there, as well as adding new threads to the story – which I will be interested in seeing where they lead. Also, without giving too much away, I think that following this book, the effects of the Ancient world on our world is going to become a whole lot more obvious. This book really captivated my attention, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself whilst reading it. The first book was good, but this book was much better, in my opinion. Roberts really has a gift for keeping the story flowing nicely, and giving enough away to keep the reader in the loop, whilst they’re still hanging on to find exact details. For anyone who hasn’t read the first book, both books are available in a double pack special edition now, and I’d totally recommend that to them. However, if you have read the first book, I’d totally recommend this – I really enjoyed it.