jules103

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Smashwords book reviews by jules103

  • Dandy Detects: A Victorian San Francisco Story on Oct. 13, 2011
    star star star star
    I enjoyed this story and it makes me want to read more about these characters.
  • A Time Travel Fantasy Bundle: Footsteps in Time/Prince of Time (The After Cilmeri Series) on Nov. 27, 2011
    star star star star star
    I really enjoyed these books. My knowledge of thirteenth century Wales comes from Sharon Kay Penman's novels, and these felt like logical sequels (except, of course, that history diverged from the history that we know). The stories were easy to follow but not too simplistic. The characters had to make hard decisions and deal with the consequences. I hope Ms. Woodbury writes a sequel to this - I'd love to know what happens to Llywelyn's daughter Gwenllian in this alternate history.
  • Olivia's Mine on Nov. 27, 2011
    star star star star
    This was a good book, but there was so much foreshadowing that the end came as an anti-climax. I appreciated that the book included the stories of Japanese and Chinese workers as well as the main characters (who are of European descent).
  • Stewards of the Flame on Dec. 28, 2011
    star star star star
    This is a well-written, thought-provoking book that held my attention. Science fiction has often been defined as "what if..." and Stewards of the Flame fits that description: What if the government and the health care industry was the same entity? What if dying is a crime? What if health care providers find you because of potential health problems rather than you calling the doctor? I look forward to reading the sequel.
  • Daughter of Time: A Time Travel Romance (The After Cilmeri Series) on Jan. 14, 2012
    star star star star star
    I really enjoyed this book. The story moved well and the characters and descriptions were believable. My one quibble is that the scenes with Meg before she believes that she really has travelled in time seemed repetitive. Every time she was exposed to a new character the author would include her thought that someone else was involved in creating an illusion. Once Meg realized that she really had travelled in time, the pace of the story picked up. (Note: I read this after reading the other books in the After Cilmeri series, so I already knew those books that Meg really had travelled in time. It's possible that if I had read this first I might have been more patient with Meg's repeated denials.)
  • Quiet Magic on Jan. 14, 2012
    star star star star
    Steve Miller and Sharon Lee are both good writers, but when they write together they are amazing. "And Hawks for Heralds" was interesting, but it felt more like a portion of a larger work. There were many thing that were brought up for no apparent reason: The main character has a magic sword that hums - Why? Several paragraphs are spent on developing the backgrounds and differences between the soldiers in the troop, but these never become relevant to the story's plot. There are also references to the family that has hired the troop - who are they? Why are they mentioned? I would be interested in reading a novel that included this scene as Chapter 2 or 3. "Master of the Winds" is a well-written story focussing on a young woman who may have special powers if she can learn to use them. The third story "Candlelight" is magical. Although the location is never stated, it appears to be set in the present-day U.S, featuring a precocious six-year old, a guidance counselor struggling with school bureaucracy, and an artist who makes candles. I expect to remember this story much more than the first two.
  • Deadly Secrets on Jan. 14, 2012
    star star star
    This book is categorized as a mystery, but includes a number of scenes which reflect the author's background as a romance writer. I found the "romance" (sex) scenes distracting and not moving the story forward. The main characters are Gordon, the poice chief; Megan, a professional woman who returns to the town where she grew up; and Justin, the grandson of Megan's adoptive parents. However I couldn't identify with any of them. My favorite characters were Sam and Rose, often referred to as Opa and Oma (German for grandpa and grandma), an older Jewish couple who lived through the Holocaust. The extended description of the book includes references to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. If I hadn't been curious about how that was going to be included, I probably would not have finished this book. If you like genre romance and want to expand into mysteries you will probably like this book. If you are looking for a mystery that isn't interrupted by descriptions of one character's physical attraction to another and how that progresses, Terry Odell's book will probably not be your cup of tea.
  • Courier Run on Feb. 03, 2012
    star star star star star
    Two excellent stories set in the Liaden Universe. The first, "Guaranteed Delivery", is set during the time frame of the novel "Mouse and Dragon" and is a story featuring Daav and Aelliana as they start in the courier business. I am also a big fan of the Liaden series and these are two of my favorite charactes, but I think this story could stand alone for people who are not familiar with the series. The second story, "Kin Ties", is set after Clan Korval relocates to Surebleak. It features Ren Zel and Anthora travelling to Casiaport, Ren Zel's planet of origin. This story may be more accessible to people who have previously read the novella "Changeling" which tells Ren Zel's history before meeting Clan Korval. Both stories also introduce new characters who, despite the short length of the work, are clearly drawn and not one-dimensional.
  • That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made on Feb. 27, 2012
    star star star star
    Very good story.
  • Liberty & Opportunity on March 02, 2012
    star star star
    The stories were compelling. The four women profiled had different experiences, so it wasn't repetitive going from one generation to the next. My favorite was Dorothy, the nurse in WWI. I would have rated this as four stars, but there were too many places where the book could have used a proofreader or copy editor. Supporting characters' names changed with no explanation (a dialogue between Molly and Amanda suddenly has "Mary said"; the farmer's wife in Cindy's story was sometimes Edith and sometimes Edna.) Incorrect words that sound similar were also a common problem. (Bad guys were referred to as "oaths" instead of "oafs"; a small room was called a "cubical" instead of "cubicle"...)
  • Lizzie : Lethal Innocence - Lizzie Series, Book 1 on March 08, 2012
    star star
    This book was very repetitive: Lizzie comes up with an idea - it's successful; Lizzie comes up with a bigger idea - it's successful; Lizzie comes up with a huge idea - it's successful. I would have liked more character development and more suspense.
  • The Fateful Day on March 08, 2012
    star
    This seemed like an outline for a story, not the story itself. It might work if it were expanded, but as it is I finished in 5 minutes and said "Huh?" Also, the title is spelled wrong on the cover ("Fatefal" instead of "Fateful") which indicates the author didn't care enough to look at it
  • The Fateful Day on March 08, 2012
    star
    This seemed like an outline for a story, not the story itself. It might work if it were expanded, but as it is I finished in 5 minutes and said "Huh?" Also, the title is spelled wrong on the cover ("Fatefal" instead of "Fateful") which indicates the author didn't care enough to look at it (I downloaded the LRF version. The cover does look right on the item listing, but not in the downloaded version.)
  • The Adventures of the Second Mrs. Watson on March 13, 2012
    star star star star star
    I read the first two stories and a portion of the third as a free sample, and immediately was hooked and had to buy the book. Although this is a set of short stories, they do have an internal order. Amelia Watson (nee Pettigrew) is the second wife of Dr. John Watson, the friend and chronicler of Sherlock Holmes. She gets frustrated at her husband's willingness to drop everything when Holmes calls him to assist on a case, but becomes more accepting after meeting Holmes in the first story. Amelia comments in a letter to a friend "Once again, it was 'Holmes, Holmes, Holmes, Holmes, Holmes.' But at least I had the satisfaction this time of knowing that when the two are out on one of their 'games,' Mr. Holmes is likewise treated to "Amelia, Amelia, Amelia, Amelia...'" (possibly my favorite line in the book). Holmes appears in about half the stories. In the second half of the book Amelia is the main detective. Amelia is a very amusing and engaging character, and I look forward to reading more about her. My one quibble with the content is with the portrayal of Irene Adler in the story "The Adventure of the Retiring Detective". It didn't ring true to the original Irene created by Conan Doyle. Someone intelligent enough to have outwitted Sherlock Holmes should have been able to figure out the answer that Amelia deduced. I also wished for a table of contents in order to refer back to specific stories.
  • Letter Of Love on March 18, 2012
    star
    Extremely formulaic. I couldn't believe in the main character's change of heart. I also was also frustrated because reference was made to her father and her original love interest being spies. This was never developed, so why mention it?
  • The Clog Skates on April 08, 2012
    star star
    This was more like an outline than a story. There was very little character development - the main character had an exciting experience as a young man, then married, had children and told them the story. The first portion was good, but the follow-up wasn't very interesting. I didn't get involved or care much. The description makes it sound like the ending is suspenseful, but I found it more of a let-down.
  • Lord Protector on May 13, 2012
    star star
    TIME TRAVEL. ALTERNATE HISTORY. Yes, I am shouting. Because I didn't realize from the blurb that this wasn't a fairly straightforward "What happened to the princes in the Tower" book. The story is not that historian Roger Ward travels back in time to find the truth. It is that his adventures cause major changes in the timeline so that the world he came from may never exist. The story bounces between the 21st and the 15th centuries, and between the history that we know and the history as it would be if the events in the book had happened. When Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII (the first Tudor king of England) learns how to travel forward in time to the 20th/21st century her actions change history. When a 21st century history professor travels back to the 15th century his actions also change history. Despite the characters' understanding that their actions would have an impact on history, they continued to believe that the dates of death in the chronicles that they read wouldn't change. For example, Henry VII might be deposed by the Yorkists but he would still live to the same time as he would have if he stayed on the throne. This made no sense to me. I kept wanting to throw this book at a wall, but since I was using an e-reader I couldn't do that. Rating 1.5 because I actually was interested enough to finish it, even though I kept wanting to yell about how stupid it was.
  • Is This Heaven? on May 14, 2012
    star star star
    Cute story
  • Love on the cards on Dec. 22, 2012
    star star
    Meh. This is like a scene from a story with no real beginning or end. Not quite a romance, not quite a paranormal, no resolution.
  • The Dance on Dec. 22, 2012
    star star star star
    This story of teenage romance intrigued me enough to buy the next book (Rymellan 1).
  • Rymellan 1: Disobedience Means Death on Jan. 01, 2013
    star star star star
    This is a very powerful story of two young women trying to balance their love for each other against doing what is right.
  • The Diary of Moses Jenkins on Jan. 01, 2013
    star star
    It held my attention, but I did NOT like the ending.
  • Reflections on Tinsori Light on Jan. 20, 2013
    star star star
    The actual story was very good, adding to the backstory in the Liaden Universe by telling a story which was previously alluded to by one of the chapter headings in one of the novels. I didn't get much out of the additional material for how it was written.
  • Rymellan 3: The Triad on Jan. 30, 2013
    star star star star
    This is a story of relationships. Mo and Lesley have loved each other for fourteen years, but now the Chosen Council has assigned them to be a Triad with Jayne. Can they adapt to being a threesome? I bought and read this book immediately after finishing Rymellan 2: Shattered Lives because I wanted to see how Lesley handled the realization that she had at the end of that book. I found the story compelling and wanted to keep reading. It was only after finishing all three books that I stopped to think about what was missing from the series. I'm not listing my questions here because they are spoilerish. Basic issues about world-building. (They are included in the review on goodreads.com which has spoiler tags.) None of the questions threw me out of the book while I was reading it; they only occurred afterwards which emphasizes how caught up I was in reading the story.
  • Broken Silence on March 12, 2013
    star star
    Very readable. The concept is good and mostly carried out well although I felt that the climax was overdone. This book could use a copy editor. There were a few places where a character's name was inexplicably changed from Sally to Susan and then back to Sally. In another place the characters were asked to sign a security act "promising to tell anyone about..." This should obviously be "not to tell anyone". Things like this threw me out of the story so led to a lower rating.
  • Threaded Through Time, Book One on March 17, 2013
    star star star star star
    Very enjoyable read. At first I felt like there was too much foreshadowing. Of course Margaret and Robin would become attracted. Of course Pam would fall for Jasper. The only question was how those things would happen. But as it went on, I became more intrigued with how the author would get the characters out of the situation they were in. Unlike the Rymellan series (by the same author), I didn't immediately have to buy the second to keep reading the story. That's not because it was less compelling, but because this book has such a great ending that it wouldn't matter whether there was a sequel.
  • Berenice and the Poet on March 17, 2013
    star star
    Didn't do anything for me.
  • A True Mulatto Face on March 25, 2013
    star
    I expected this to be a short story. Instead it is a teaser for a longer book which isn't available on Smashwords! The last sentence is that to read more, go to Amazon.com. So it doesn't matter what I thought since I'll never read the rest.
  • The Missing Comatose Woman on May 09, 2013
    star star star star
    Fun, fluffy mystery. It kept my attention and didn't have any egregious issues to throw me out of the story. The relationship sub-plot fit in well with the story, neither overshadowing the mystery nor feeling like an afterthought.
  • The Hundredth Year of the War on May 26, 2013
    star star star star star
    I was blown away by this short story. I generally like space opera, which means stories about wars, but reading one that takes peace activism seriously is a great change.
  • At the Gates on July 06, 2013
    star star star
    I liked the beginning and middle, but thought the end was a letdown.
  • The Art of Forgetting:Rider on July 13, 2013
    star star star
    This book starts as a standard fantasy. A young man of unknown background is being brought up in a rural town. When a troop of King's soldiers comes through, he resolves to join them and make his way in the world. However, the story takes on too many themes and doesn't do justice to most of them. I never lost myself in the story or fully identify with the main character, although I did sympathize with him. His unique memory is supposed to be a big deal, but most of the time I didn't even remember that it existed. Good story but only medium execution.