A Luminous Future
on June 30, 2012
This book was incredible!
"A Luminous Future" by Teodor Flonta is a narrative autobiography/memoir that recants his early life in Transylvania. I admit that a book such as this is outside my normal “comfort zone” for reading, and I wasn’t entirely convinced that I would be all that interested in it. I decided to try 1 or 2 chapters, just so I could say I tried it. Well, am I glad I did! Not only did I absolutely LOVE it, I think this is the best book I’ve read all year! The problem I always have when trying to learn about history or other cultures is that is seems really dry, or presented in a way that I can’t connect to. In this book I immediately felt like I was not only a part of the story, but a part of this wonderful family. I felt like I was Teodor, and was really experiencing life the way he did. I can’t believe how amazing this book was, and I read it in two nights (a record for me). It was PERFECTLY edited, something that is really rare in self-published books. So I give the author much credit for the professionalism in which he displayed in the publication of this novel. In my opinion it was well worth every cent and I highly recommend it to others, even if it’s not your typical read. Try it, you might be surprised. And you might learn something.
Blood Skies (Book 1)
on Aug. 30, 2012
This book was epic! First let me just start off by saying that I had totally sworn off the whole “vampire thing”, and let out a small groan when I realized that this post-apocalyptic/ sci-fi/fantasy novel had lots of them. But I soon realized that this was no ordinary vamp novel, in fact if they were ALL like this I’d be in heaven! THIS is dark fantasy done right! The writing was evocative and disturbing and beautifully descriptive, down to the creepiest detail. I read this book cover to cover in the course of 2 nights and am anxious to start the next asap!
Margaret of the North
on Aug. 30, 2012
Loved this book! Wow, I only just finished it a few hours ago and I can’t get it out of my mind! I wanted to stay forever lost in the pages of this story, never to leave. I love the way the E. Journey writes, the words seemed to almost put me in a trance at times! I was totally pulled into Margaret’s world and felt her struggles along with her as she navigated the terrain of her new life and all the conflicts that came with it. Was this book perfect? Of course not…no book is. But what it did do was provide me with hours of blissful escapism for a teeny tiny price and for me that is pure heaven! This novel is in my mind a wonderful companion to the “North and South” miniseries and stands in its own right. I’d definitely love to read more from this author in the future as she has a new fan in me!
Return of the Crown
on Jan. 22, 2013
I loved this book! Fantastic fantasy adventure suitable for all ages. The heroine, Princess Ravyn, is a teen, but this isn’t just another YA fantasy book. There is little to no angst, and it is not a romance (thank God). The writing very strong and the plot is compelling and intelligent enough for adults to be hooked as well. Recommend for fans of the fantasy genre, as well as action or adventure. Would love to read more from this author in the future.
Peas, Beans & Corn (Book 2 in The Sovereign Series)
on Aug. 11, 2013
This is one of those novels that will stay with you long after you have finished reading, and you will end the book 1) feeling that you had just been to another place with new friends, and 2) wishing there was more. I hope the author continues this series and I was happy to have discovered her and her books! There is a charming simplicity to the story, and I liked that it was set in the small town and everyone had their little groups and clubs to show the roles of the people and their interactions on day to day life. At times I thought the story could benefit from more heightened tension in order to really propel the story forward, and there were a lot of characters to keep track of (that were often referred to by first and last name, which I though was a tad odd). This is definitely a different type of book in terms of writing style and narration, but the characters are likeable enough and quirky (always a bonus), and the charming setting is described in lyrical detail. Recommend for fans of women’s fiction and romance.
The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky
on Aug. 11, 2014
just lovely. This book kept me enraptured for hours, even though it’s not normally the type of book I gravitate towards (I prefer romance or more action). But I’d read another book by this same author a while ago and liked it so I gave it a shot. For the most part it is great, but there were some confusing parts and a few places where I thought it was kind of slow and there was too much “writing” and describing going on and not enough action. This is a very “talky” book with much of the external and internal conflicts arising through dialogue and how people interact. Not that this is a bad thing, it was sweet and conveyed a great message, along with a subtle (or not so subtle) commentary on how we might view others who don’t think the same way we do, and how this is at our own peril. Definitely worth checking out and is pretty much suitable for almost all ages (teens and older) although I think it is more of an adult book.
Connecting the Dots: Man, God, Angels, and Demons
on Sep. 14, 2015
One of the more different books I’ve read all year, and hands down the most impactful and unforgettable. “Connecting The Dots: Man, God, Angels, and Demons” by Dave Shaw is certainly not a quick, breezy read, nor should it be. There are some deep subjects here that require, and receive, a closer examination and speculation from different perspectives. I was drawn into the author’s premise about questioning Satan’s role on Earth and as a part of God’s plan…. Because who hasn’t asked the question that if there really is a God, and that God is good, why would he allow such evil to be on Earth? While this is just a fraction of the ground that Dave Shaw covers in his book, it does provide insight from a scholarly, biblical, and personal point of view. Drawing from the Bible and examine the contents in historical context in a straightforward, but easy to follow manner, this was a smooth ride even for someone who might not be 100% Christian… there are some wonderful lessons and stories here, and the writing is excellent. Looking forward to more from Dave Shaw!
The End of Summer
on Nov. 09, 2015
An interesting storyline, quirky characters, and the fast-paced action makes “The End of Summer” by Irving Munro a very entertaining read. This is the first I’ve read from this author, but I like his style and look forward to reading more. Enjoyed the ‘putting together’ of the clues and tracking down the killer… I liked the leads a lot (Bill and Tommy) but all the other characters were described well and are unique in their own right. I did like the author’s writing style for the most part, even though there were some grammar and punctuation issues (not entirely uncommon for kindle books). The plot was really original and the action fast paced. This didn’t feel like a cut and paste stereotypical procedural thriller. Recommend for police/crime thriller fans. This book was easy to read quickly and the end makes it seem like the story (or series) will continue. Great! Looking forward to more.
What's Left is Right
on Nov. 09, 2015
Okay, I do not even know where to begin because so much happens and I don’t want to give anything away… “What’s Left is Right” by author Irving Munro is just flat out interesting mystery/thriller/suspense/novel that is easy to read and hard to put down. I liked it for so many different reasons, first the writing was great. The strong word choice and fluid prose and authentic dialogue with the characters (especially in regards to ‘police and military speak’) makes it a very easy book to lose yourself in. There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. The interweaving plotlines were complex enough to keep me interested and engaged, but no so much where you get confused…All leading to a satisfying, bittersweet ending. Ready for more Bill Ross and team!
The Kidnapping of Inda Jackson
on Dec. 09, 2015
I was hooked from the first pages of “The Kidnapping of Inda Jackson” by Cher Foth and my interest never faded 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 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 YA and romantic 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 descriptive details that really brought the story to life – world building is absolutely crucial in selling a story and it is done quite nicely here. Will be interested in seeing what Ms. Foth comes up with next (surely this won’t be her only novel!). Recommend for fans of contemporary romance.
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
on Jan. 08, 2016
wow, what a crazy, mind-bending novel! This was a totally unexpected for me, to be honest… from the description I was a little confused just what to expect, but I was intrigued by the quality writing sample and decided to dive right in. Well I wasn’t disappointed at all, in fact I think that “The Urban Boys” is by far one of the more well-thought out and relevant books I’ve read in a while. I like how it felt like we were so involved as each different character showed us their story and I loved how K.N. Smith writes very descriptively and with great passion. I kept wondering how it would all wrap up, and if it would work… but it totally did. Now we just need the next one!
on Jan. 18, 2016
"Rogue Event” by J.M. Erickson was an interesting mix of dystopian, action, high-stakes drama, science fiction, and dare I say, a psychological adventure? I can’t quite say that I’ve ever really read anything like it before, and even though it’s a fast read that I finished in the span of an evening (less than…) I loved the level of detailing and thought to the futuristic world development… There are many complex subplots woven throughout and we experience through different characters perspectives. The book is divided into 6 ‘sections’, but it all reads as a cohesive novella. I saw some minor editing/proofing things and honestly didn’t like the ending…. Felt like I was on a great date that was suddenly over out of nowhere and never see the person again. But an enjoyable, memorable experience nonetheless.
Friend & Foe
on May 02, 2016
well, “Friend & Foe” by Nik Olsen took me a long while to read, but in the end I’d say it was worth it! I like how everything came together, and I enjoyed every page! Anyways, the themes and events that happen are relatable to modern day, yet with a new spin – a fresh voice. The author writes VERY well… very descriptive and strong and we feel like we are there almost like watching a movie or something. The editing could use a little cleaning up, but it wasn’t that bad. Ben and Joe are dynamic protagonists who really shed light on so many subjects and pull you into their world. The takeaway is satisfying, and overall a complex, almost surreal novel that pushes the boundaries of typical literature. Recommend!
Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
on May 02, 2016
First, I have to say that I don’t normally read books that are about politics, but considering what is happening with our elections today and the state our country is in because of Obama, I was curious to see what this book had to say. Color me impressed!! And I was surprised to read that this is the author’s first fiction novel. There is such strong, vivid writing, and the characters are all fascinating, flawed, and going through their own problems. Liked Mars, Sam, Malik…Everything just felt “authentic” for lack of a better word. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…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! And you may notice some familiar “characters” as well.
on July 08, 2016
wow, “Portia’s Revelation” By Rich Tenaglia was awesome! Loved it! I haven’t read a ‘literary-fantasy’ like that in a long time, if ever. For once it seemed like the characters were anything but the stock, ordinary typical hero/heroine, but instead all had baggage, motivations, secrets, and I don’t want to focus too much on it, but I thought the historical Roman and mythology aspect and context of the story was pretty cool too. It felt pretty modern and relevant, but had a distinctive differences between today’s time and back then… but it’s funny how some things never change! All came together to create a fresh-feeling novel that was out of the ordinary and kept me engaged throughout. This was a standalone novel -not a part of any series, it appears- but I hope the author Rich Tenaglia writes more like this in the future. I’d be reading it! Oh, and I really like the cover.
The Redemption of Charlie McCoy
on Aug. 08, 2017
"The Redemption of Charlie McCoy” by Christopher Wilsher is one of the more riveting and original and well-crafted books I’ve read in a while. But in my opinion, it did slow down for me after the opener, not for lack of action, but it was almost like being shot out of a cannon with few bearings. Occasionally the narrative was too ‘telling’ and vague for my liking (like “it looked like a scene straight out of hell” or “his expression changes”….to what? Can’t picture anything.) So I would have liked more details and fleshing out of scenes and more ‘showing’ of events that left me frustrated at times. But I kept reading and was able to experience a really cool story. We feel transported not only into the lives of some pretty unique characters (who grow on you – didn’t like Charlie at first, but this changed) and his amazing life experiences… and it was a wonderful and entertaining escape from reality. “Redemption…” covers so, so much it’s impossible to sum up, but it felt like I was living through the lives of these characters, and it was interesting to see how it all tied together in the end, which I thought was great! I was really impressed and would love to read more from Christopher Wilsher in the future
on Nov. 14, 2017
woah, what a ride! From the description summary I was a little confused just what to expect, but I just dove on in. Well I was hooked when I read the first chapter, and even though I don’t normally read books where the main character/narrator is so young (it starts when Noah is about 10), it doesn’t feel young and was very easy to connect to right off the bat. I was captivated not only at the level of detailed and imaginative character development across the board (mainly w/ Noah), and watching him grow and change and endure so many things, but also the sheer amount of twists and turns that were in store for us …I tend to lose interest in books rather easily (I have a short attention span unfortunately) But I think that “Getting Gay” by Bryce Hunter is one of the more well thought-out and captivating books I’ve read in a while, even though the subject matter is on the harsher side. I liked how he writes very descriptively what the characters are feeling and experiencing and with great energy and detailing. I kept wondering how it would all wrap up, and if it would work out… and while I was happy with some things, I was disappointed with others. But that’s what made it so good I guess. Note, this has a lot of “adult’ scenes and language Not gratuitous at all, but definitely intense. Just a fair warning. Recommend.
on Jan. 17, 2018
I found myself wavering around a bit while reading “Flatline” by Dana Barney. At first I was immediately interested in the story, and became immersed in the intense world building and complex plot development (man accused of murder he witnesses done by a state trooper) But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the tension and narrative some (especially in the beginning). But at the same time, the pacing was steady, and there was pretty much nonstop action and some crazy developments toward the end. It felt fresh and unpredictable, always a nice experience, especially in a genre that is fraught with derivative copycats. I enjoyed Barney’s voice, and was surprised with the ending (but satisfied). I enjoyed the characters as well (esp. Peter but also Skelly, Cleft and Paula as well and the others) but some of the dialogue at times unnecessary. But overall was an interesting and entertaining book that is really different from a lot out there in the genre and I would certainly like to read more from Dana Barney in the future. I plan on reading “Half Life” next.
on Jan. 17, 2018
Wow, what did I just read? Almost non-stop drama and a fast-moving plot kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The writing was excellent, very few errors as far as I could tell which is always a huge plus on my end. I hate sloppy editing! Really enjoyed the mix of crime, art, secret treasure, and authentic, flawed characters infused with a compelling storyline – makes it feel that much more believable. I was impressed with KJ Lawrence’s writing style, her brisk pacing and strong word choice works well in this genre, and it seems like she’s done her homework on many aspects, as the level of detailing was impressive. I liked how it all came together in the end, even if a little bittersweet and I did still have a few questions on things (but I’m glad we see where the title of the book comes from). Way too much to get into here… this is a book that a simple summary can’t do it justice – you have to read and experience it for yourself! I was surprised to see that this is Ms. Lawrence’s debut, and definitely think she is an author to watch for in the future. Highly recommend for mature fans of suspense and thrillers.
Zandeji Chronicles: Liberation
on Jan. 17, 2018
This book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing, and when I did I immediately started on the next one! (which fortunately was already loaded on my e-reader) It pulls you in from the descriptive, intriguing beginning, and I enjoyed Christopher T. Mooney’s literary “voice” and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were well-developed and not predictable, (definitely shocked by several things which is always cool) and the element of weaving in God and religion and the struggle of faith in a space opera is a new one for me… And I absolutely LOVED it, because even in a ‘fantasy’ it makes the characters that much more ‘human’ when they sin and follow faith and what they believe in... The characters were all interesting and well-written, and although there were some grammatical and punctuation errors, it wasn’t anything that really bothered me. “Zandeji Chronicles: Liberation” is definitely a compelling read, and one that will appeal to fans of epic science fiction/fantasy /actionl/spiritual novels. It’s kind of hard to define exactly, as it is a big story that encompasses so much. We feel like we are a part of the whole experience and I recommend for fans of sci/fi or fantasy who’d like to read a fresh voice. An excellent start to what promises to be an exciting series! Can’t wait to read the next one!
Zandeji Chronicles: Redemption
on Jan. 17, 2018
I've given the first 2 books in this series 4-5 stars, so I already had the bar set pretty high in my mind for this one, but I find that I frequently there can be a whole lot of ‘buildup’ and no real ‘payoff’ in these sorts of situations. However, I am so happy that I wasn’t at all disappointed with “Redemption”! And if anything, I think it surpassed my hopes! The military fighting scenes were detailed and action packed, but for me it was the sentimental moments the relations with Siasha and her father (and being a mother), and Ace, and Racik, and the others as they ‘transformed” (no spoilers) and found the way with Razion .I think I even liked this one a bit more because I was already familiar with the storyline, and had grown fond of the characters (well, most of them at least). Like the other ones, I enjoyed the real world/fantasy/spiritual mix, but was also impressed with the mythos behind the demon element and its influence on people (like the empress) and like that it has an almost ‘philosophical’ element and emotional depth that sets it apart from lots of other books out there, and I like that our heroine is smart and actually has goals to accomplish… and reach. Siasha is strong and her identity isn’t based on some guy, but who SHE is and her path to her ultimate goal and role (no spoilers). Very cool. I loved how I was able to totally lose myself in this unique and imaginative world that is so much fun, even when being dark and dangerous. Recommend for fans of New Adult/ Young Adult sci/fi and religious fiction.
Zandeji Chronicles: Revolution
on Jan. 17, 2018
Like the first book, “Liberation”, this one, “Revolution”, the second installment in the “Zandeji Chronicles” by Christopher T. Mooney seems to have something of everything… action, drama, spiritual philosophy and warfare, thriller, faith, morals… and cute creatures (Lucine, haha…) and it was an easy read that held on to my attention and you just want to read it straight through as the action and tension continues to rise… right up to the nail-biting “trial” at the end. I loved the spiritual element that worked nicely into the overall plotlines. The characters were all interesting and well-written (especially Siasha and Ace of course, but also thought her father and Racik were very interesting as well), and although there were rampant punctuation/proofing errors, it wasn’t anything that significantly bothered me. I do feel like people who like this story, especially fans of Christian fiction and sci-fi will not be bothered by it, and instead will appreciate the whole book and the entire message it imparts. So happy that the next book is already published and I can start on it right away (I HATE having to wait!!) I know there will be more drama to come!
on April 02, 2018
I read a lot of YA/NA paranormal/urban fantasy books, so this is a genre I’m quite familiar with. I’d never read anything from A. E. Outerbridge before, but the premise seemed interesting and I was intrigued with the opening pages because she wastes no time in setting the intriguing, dangerous, historical and enchanting vibe right away. I’m always on the lookout for fresh new talent, so I was curious to see how she would deliver in this one “Liornabella”. I wasn’t expecting all that much, but I was completely blown away, because not only is she unarguably a talented writer and storyteller, but more than that she genuinely impressed me with the thorough world-building of this ‘alternative’ world(s) that is set in the past (1879) but feels so modern, and myth and lore that felt original and fresh, even when familiar. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is mildly felt here as well – definitely Harry Potterish vibe), Outerbridge was still able to cast this epic story a new light to give it a very unique feel – a blend of mystery and secrets and drama in an atmospheric setting. I liked how descriptive and intense it all was, and for such a long book I finished it in less than a week. It did take me some time to figure out what was really going on, so the beginning was a little confusing for me (just for a little while) but by the end there were so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. Things aren’t what they seem and neither are the ‘people’! I love the setting and the characters (especially liked Martine, Elle’s BFF) I wouldn’t necessarily call this a ‘horror’, but it does have its dark side and gets creepy at several parts – in a good way. Wraps up well enough but leaves the door open for more. Recommend for fans of Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, etc…I recommend it for mature teens on up because of some perhaps ‘adultish’ scenes but they work well with the storyline and do not feel gratuitous.
Mr. Merson Goes Home
on June 16, 2018
What a fun book! At first I was a little nervous because usually time-travel books are hard to swallow if you think about them too much. But what I liked here was that even when Keith meets Alice and he soon ends up back in the past, we are told how nothing that happens back then will change the future – something that always annoys me. So in that regard I really liked it and was able to relax and enjoy the ride with Keith, Ellie, Sara, Paulie, and all the others… The story starts off pretty quick and only covers approx. a month, but a lot happens! And John Keeler Mitchell does a really good job with the scenery and descriptions – we really feel like we are back in 1957 LA. At first the unique narrative was a little jarring (having the narrator seemingly speak directly to us the reader) but I quickly I got used to it, and I really liked how everything was coming together. We feel like we are there as Keith lives out his past ‘life’in a way that is clever to see how he responds to situations knowing what he knows as an older man, yet being a teenager. I mean, who hasn’t wished they could go back and do things differently? Liked the fast-paced and energetic narrative that is descriptive and with a fast tempo to the dialogue. Perfect for this type of story. I was wondering how Mr. Mitchell would manage to tie it all up in the end and have it make sense, and I was pleased with how it wrapped up. An entertaining escape that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I’d recommend for mature readers of humor/drama/time-travel speculative fiction. Would happily read more from Mr. Mitchell in the future.