justmax

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Smashwords book reviews by justmax

  • Legacy - Book One of the Balancer Chronicles on June 05, 2011

    Legacy-Book One of the Balancer Chronicles, by Chris Adonn, is a hard book to categorize - urban fantasy, paranormal romance, historical fantasy - it could be categorized as any, or all of these things - but this is not a bad thing. In fact, Legacy is one of the most original books I have read in a long time. Told almost entirely in the form of a journal by James Blackburne to his niece, Katrina Blake, we learn of a group of immortals known as the balancers. In a world populated by werewolves and vampires and all kinds of supernatural beings, it is the job of the balancers to ensure that good and evil remain in check. Legacy is very well written. It grabs your attention immediately and holds it throughout. If you are looking for something just that little bit different, give this a try. But make sure you have nothing else planned because, I guarantee once you start reading, you will not want to put it down.
  • Concerto on July 06, 2011

    What would you do if you found yourself being stalked by a mad man who fills your fax machines and covers your lawn with pages which say 'I see you', who drugs your iced tea, and breaks into your house to leave pictures of yourself with your head cut off. I know what I wouldn't do - I wouldn't destroy all the evidence and then get all lovey dovey with the guy everybody else, including the police and my mother, thinks is a murderer. But that is exactly what Crispin, the heroine of this story does. And why is she convinced that he didn't do it you might ask. Well, because he lays the violin so beautifully - a sure sign of an innocent man. This book started out great. The whole stalker thing was suitably creepy and sent chills up my spine. Unfortunately, the story quickly devolved into a rather tepid romance with occasional glimpses of the original excitement. And, within a couple of chapters, I knew exactly who the murderer was - no mystery here. Don't get me wrong, I rather liked this book. It was a fast, easy read. The question I had to ask myself, though, was do I give it four stars because it had such great potential as a straight up suspense novel or two stars because it was wasted. Finally, I decided to compromise and give it three stars. So, if you're looking for a fast little read on a lazy summer afternoon, you might enjoy this book. However, if you're looking for a good mystery, I'd give it a pass.
  • LilyPad Princess on Aug. 02, 2011

    Princess Gwendolyn is playing in the garden with her annoying brother Jack when she notices a frog with a crown on its head. Thinking it might be a prince, she kisses it. However, instead of a prince, the frog turns into a little girl but she might not be what she seems. This is a charming retelling of the fairy tale, The princess and the Frog and I would recommend it to anyone with a little girl especially if she has an annoying brother.
  • Dirty Little Angels on Aug. 12, 2011

    Dirty Little Angels is a dark and gritty coming-of-age tale of growing up poor in New Orleans. It is both compelling and thought-provoking and, at times, very depressing but it is also about hope and faith and love within families. This is definitely not a book for everyone, there are no happy endings here, but if you like books which force you to think, then you should give this one a try.
  • The Road Trip Dialogues on Sep. 07, 2011

    Rev and Dylan run into each other twenty years after Teachers'College. Rev is on her way to Montreal to see the fireworks and, since Dylan has nothing else to do, he decides to go along for the ride. What follows is a lot of talk about life, feminism, politics, religion, and the nature of cats as well as the consumption of copious amounts of weed and junk food. All of this sounds kinda boring but, really, it wasn't. It was fun and funny and it's definitely the kind of book that makes you think. It also gave me my new favourite Biblical quote, Psalm 137:9. It can really liven up a conversation. Anyway, if you're looking for adventure, romance, or mystery you might want to skip this book but if you just want a fun read that'll make you think long after you finish the last page, definitely give this one a try.
  • American Nightmare on Sep. 09, 2011
    (no rating)
    Okay, I have to be honest here. I thought this story sounded good and I really liked the premise. Unfortunately, the poor editing made it impossible for me to finish the story. Too bad, because it has a lot of promise.
  • Merrie Axemas: A Killer Holiday Tale on Sep. 09, 2011

    What a terrific little story! A great little Xmas tale! Loved it and couldn't put it down. I will definitely be looking for more by this writer.
  • The Old One on Sep. 15, 2011

    Enjoyable story reminiscent of HP Lovecraft. Starts out slow but quickly builds up speed to a very satisfying denouement.
  • Campaign Promises on Sep. 26, 2011

    This is a fun and witty novella comparing relationships to politicians. Definitely not for the Michelle Bachman fans out there but for those of us with a more liberal bent and at least a modicum of humour, this is a winning combination.
  • Elegy: Book 1 of the Arbiter Codex on Oct. 27, 2011

    In Elegy, author Christopher kKellen has created an interesting world with a unique magic system. However, I thought that could have used a little more plot and character development. Otherwise, a pretty good read.
  • Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1) on May 21, 2012

    Evangeline has just turned 18 and feeling like a social outcast when, on a trip to New York, she meets a mysterious woman who offers her a job. Soon she is part of a life she could never have imagined but it is becoming clear to her that things are definitely not as simple or as good as they seem. This is an interesting take on the vampire tale. It is an easy read and, for the most part, lots of fun. If you are a fan of the fangs, this is definitely worth the time.
  • Happy on May 26, 2012

    Happy is the tale of a kitten who is born in a shelter. Unfortunately, it is born with a lame leg and cannot play with its litter mates. However, as it watches the other cats and kittens interact with the people who take care of it, it struggles to do the same and is happy. Then, as the other cats, kittens and even its mother disappear, it is sure this is a happy event and waits excitedly for its own chance to disappear. Happy is a very short, sad story. I enjoyed it and shed a tear or two. I did find the story a bit melodramatic for my taste, sort of a Dickensian Tiny Tim tale for pet owners but it points out the real problem of all those animals who are waiting to disappear everyday in shelters because no one wants them. And I realize that, sometimes, melodrama is needed to make people wake up and pay attention. Witness all the sad commercials at Christmas time featuring Sarah MacLaughlin and some horribly abused animals. So, hats off to Ms. Braziel for a story with an important message. And if it encourages even one person to donate to a no-kill shelter or, even better, rescue an animal that previously no one wanted because it's crippled or too old, not pure bred, or just not cute enough, it will have achieved something wonderful.