Laura Bastian


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Smashwords book reviews by Laura Bastian

  • Two Souls Are Better Than One on Jan. 10, 2012

    Jeremy was a fun and believable character. He has hopes and dreams, but lots of flaws and problems too. When he ends up going to the other world and swaps bodies with a magician there, the description of a boy's soul or consciousness inside an old man's body really made sense. He couldn't run like he used to 'cause things hurt. Karen really did a good job making me believe Jeremy was really experiencing something completely foreign to him but possible nonetheless. Then since he plummets to his death in that old body he returns to his own, but the soul of the magician (who was in Jeremy's body) has no place to return so he stays with Jeremy's body. I loved how Karen had the two struggle to come to terms with this yet it didn't ever get over the top or strange. I loved the magic in this story. Magic in the other world is completely normal, and science is top order in our/Jeremy's world, but Jeremy begins to use magic in our world since the magician sharing his consciousness teaches him about the possibilities out there. It was fun to have two worlds to go back and forth between and Karen did a good job keeping me guessing on what was going on while still giving me enough information I could piece things together to understand what would come next. Besides dragons, there were shapeshifters, Pegasus, and other mythical creatures. I'm looking forward to the next in the series since she left it off in such a way that Jeremy is still in some trouble, but I have hopes things will work out well for him. Laura
  • BROKEN (#2 in The Crystor Series) on July 26, 2012

    Book 2 is awesome. If you liked Twilight, you'll love this. If you didn't like Twilight, I think you'll still like this. Though Kira is a human in love with a man who craves her blood *spoiler alert if you haven't read book 1 yet*(he's part wild cat from a different planet). Kira is a much stronger character and has lots of spunk. You see how she won't let Octavian control her. I still think he gets too angry, but I guess that happens when you are in his position. The only thing I found annoying about their relationship is that she kept doubting herself too much and doubting his feelings for her. The characters were totally in love, but the romantic scenes never went above a PG rating in my mind. They maintained decent interactions with each other, but I still felt the heat and steam. You don't need to have sex in a book to make it romantic and Mrs. Bryant knew how to make it romance without the smut. I loved how Mrs. Bryant told the story from his and her viewpoints. The characters were well developed. The trials and conflict of a new world were there and I loved being able to see this new world through Kira's eyes. The story kept me very engaged, but I almost felt like the main threat never materialized. I know it will come up in book 3 but it was sure forefront in my mind, and when it didn't deliver at the end I was only okay with it because of the way it did end. I seriously can't wait to get my hands on book 3.
  • Spirit on June 29, 2013
    (no rating)
    Spirit by Lauren Ritz This was a very fast and fun read. It's not long, but not short either. Just right for a quick escape in to a different world with not really magic, but spirit. The premise of the story is a young woman who was raised in a world where physics and seers, and people who can see your spirit were once outcasts and not trusted or even considered real and now they actually have jobs with the police, and medical examiners and doctors as well as dream parlors and places where you can get your future told. Val works at an office by day, and freelances as a Spirit Worker helping the police with cases that they just can't get the full picture on. She is a very powerful spirit reader and can see things others can't but because she was raised by a very well know spirit reader she's a little leery of the life and the scrutiny of the sensitive so she doesn't let people know of her talent to see spirits. In one of these cases, she gets involved in something she thought was just another suicide, but it turns out it was murder with a history going back decades. Val is annoyed when a hot coworker Ethan turns out to be a former sensitive who had lost his powers, but is now "on the case" to work with her in helping to keep her safe. Through their experience they come to develop a relationship. I would have loved to see the relationship between Val and Ethan built up a little more in this, but it's also fun to let myself imagine how things progress for them after the author wraps it up. (might be the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars) Very clean in the romance department. The fantasy or paranormal aspect of this story was lots of fun too. It's not technically magic, but it was still really magical to me. I loved the descriptions and how the spirit is damaged and shows signs of mistreatment and the state of a person's spiritual health. And the soul was a separate thing. The story didn't go into any religion of any kind, but I loved having it brought out that actions by yourself as well as others really can affect your inner self. It was only sort of difficult to get into this world because of the use of spirit and sensitives and spirit eyes, being terms that were strange at first, but the world was so well built, I could totally see myself stepping into it. If you are into fantasy and paranormal, this would be an excellent read for you.