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Smashwords book reviews by Lily

  • Sunset: Pact Arcanum: Book One on April 07, 2012

    Very intelligent and intricate read. This was a well written futuristic novel about Nightwalker vampires, Daywalker vampires, and Sentinel races, and the aftermath resulting in their exposure to the human world, after millennia of walking around virtually undetected. This was also the emotional story of ‘Daywalker’ Nick and his struggles with his very human like relationships. This book opens with a terrorist plot that goes wrong. It was effective, action packed, and had my attention from the first page. It introduces all the race players effectively, and some of the main characters of this novel. The author did a really good job at world building, though the inner ‘governing’ structures of all the races did get to be confusing at times. All the houses and masters, and their individual titles were a lot to take in, but you quickly figure out the gist of it, and who the main players are. That being said, when minor characters were introduced or when all these players came together en masse, I was a little confused. Frankly, what surprises me the most about this novel is how this author kept me so interested, even though most of the time I was trying to grasp the world he built. Maybe it was that the character development was so well done, that the inter-personal relationships and love triangles or (square as one other reader put it?) were so intriguing, gut wrenching and full of emotion, that I had a difficult time putting this book down, even though I struggled through some elements of this story. In acknowledgment of the ‘elephant in the room’ - Though I am a very open minded, accepting individual of people’s sexual orientations, I have to, on a side note, acknowledge and commend the author for his eloquent writing and development of the gay relationships in this novel. Though I am heterosexual, and reading about male gay relationships may seem outside the comfort zone, I was not uncomfortable in any way. I was able to empathize with Nick’s emotions and upheavals; they were really no different than the emotional rollercoaster of feelings between men and women, so it did not distract from the plot line, and it wasn’t a point of focus for me in any sort of negative way. It was very contrary to that; I was very emotionally invested in the main character, because I could relate to his feelings, and understood them. This was, however, outside of my comfort zone in terms of the “Sci-Fi” portion of the book. Though I was fine with the AI technology, I really don’t do well with many Sci-Fi books because I am a visual reader… and if I have a hard time visualizing parts of the book, I lose my ‘link’ to it. Some of the technologies were a little hard to visually grasp. I found the introduction of the space shuttles/ships and mentions of off Planet bases to not be relevant to the story line in this book, and left me confused… again… but it may serve its purpose in upcoming installments. Very interesting novel, and I enjoyed it. I will definitely be keeping this author in mind, and very open to continue this series. *This novel was generously shared by the author for the purposes of review* Thank you for the opportunity to read and review your novel!
  • The Curse Girl on May 18, 2012

    Wow! What an awesome short read. This novella was generously shared by the author for a review, and I have to concede to the hype. This was hard to put down, and almost read same date, if I didn’t have to succumb to the very annoying need to sleep. For anyone that enjoys the fairy tale stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, this will be a very entertaining and enjoyable novella. ‘The Curse Girl’ is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast story set in current times. A young high school girl, Beauty, is delivered to the ‘Beast’s’ house by her father, who is marked by the ‘curse’ after he makes a very bad decision. In order to save her family from the curse, Beauty walks away from her life as she knows it, as soon as she steps foot in the house that is surrounded by myths of legend. She becomes a prisoner of the house with the Beast, who is really just a boy close to her age, who is also trapped along with his sister and household staff in the enchanted home. Beauty, in her quest of finding a way to escape, assists Will, the so called Beast, with finding an answer to the riddle that would break the curse they are all under. For YA fans, this story follows the enjoyable rules of girl meets boy, can’t stand boy, then finds herself attracted to said boy as they work together towards a common goal. There is no ‘Insta-love’ here, which was a relief as I have just been assaulted too much lately with YA novels that feature such an annoying trend. For the small size of this book, the author was great at character building. A lot of attention was paid not just to the two main characters of the story, but to everyone involved. Ya, of course Beauty and Will have the most focus for obvious reasons. But I did enjoy the attention to characters such as Housekeeper, Liam (before the predictable reveal towards the end), and of course the mean villainous witch, Marian. So the end result is, you care about them or despise them, and you can relate to them all in some way or another. The ending was quickly wrapped up, and that was probably the only negative thing about this book. It just felt like it could have been a much longer story. But the negative is a positive. Obviously I was enjoying the heck out of this novel to be upset by how quickly it all wrapped up. But some of the wrap ups were a little too convenient, or without resolution (ie, her family moving away so no confrontation with father dearest who was so willing to give her up, and it ends pretty much once the curse is lifted – and yes I realize that may be a spoiler, but we all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, so get over it.) I have to say I am impressed with the writing skill for a first published novel by this author. Kate Avery Ellison writes like a pro and reeled me in like one. I definitely have her next works on my ‘to read’ list for the future
  • Frost on June 12, 2012

    After reading 'The Curse Girl' by this author, I was determined to read everything else that she gets out. So it was with immense pleasure and anticipation that I jumped on the opportunity to read this novel for a review. It did not disappoint! I found this novel to have a really interesting plot and mass of characters. It was quite an original but familiar plot. Original because you have a village living in what appears to be quite a harsh winter environment, where creatures in the night could easily end your life. Those creatures themselves are very curious though there is not a lot of information about them and what they are exactly, but the fear they inflict in the villagers is palpable. As to the remainder of the story, it is not so original, but very entertaining nonetheless. I enjoyed the build up of the relationship between Lia and Gabe and am glad that this book is a part of a series. Really really wish that book 2 was published already, because I definitely would have jumped straight into it to find out what happens next.
  • The Water Thief on Aug. 11, 2012

    This book really reminded me of a movie I recently watched with Justin Timberlake called 'In Time' (2011). This movie is set in a futuristic age where people live to the age of 25, then a clock on their wrist activates and counts down a year. Time is actually the currency of this world, and you work to get more time, you use time to buy the things you need, etc. It was actually really really good so I recommend you check it out. The reason why I am bringing this up is that in this movie, there is a 'system'. The 'system' is what makes the world revolve. This 'system' is what dictates the ways of life, how it categorizes people, how it controls people. And in 'The Water Thief', such a 'system' exists. People are brainwashed to believe certain things. They are pawns in a game that only the ones holding the power can win. In some cases, the ruthless will rise to hold some of that power. It is a cut throat, dog-eat-dog world. But there are a select group of people that know the truth, and want to rebel or beat the system. They gather in dark corners, 'off the grid', and plan on how it can be done, and prepare for it. They infiltrate the enemy to gather as much information as possible, lying patiently in wait for that moment... that moment when the plan is activated and they can be free of the 'system' and open the eyes of the world. Are they completely over their heads? Is it hopeless? Is it a suicide mission? Can it really be done? Ahhhhh won't be telling you here. You will have to find out for yourself and pick up this novel. I was not wowed by 'The Water Thief'. There was enough action to keep my interest. But my biggest problem with this novel was how preachy it felt. There was a lot of discussion, especially in the last third of this novel, about the evils of their society (or the system) that felt very repetitive. It was somewhat beneficial to understand the system that governed this society... but it went on and on for a while. I am an action girl. Long speeches make me yawn and go for a nap! Without a doubt, this was a well written, and thought provoking dystopian novel, which for the most part, I did enjoy. The action scenes were fluent, believable and definitely elevated my heart rate. It was a world that struck a fearful chord... it was not a pleasant place. The character development was excellent! I was very emotionally invested in some characters, while really disliking others... which by the way, is a big factor in why I am so conflicted with the ending. That is all that I can say about the ending without having to enter big spoilers... just... was conflicted. It is definitely worth a look and I would recommend it to readers that are into dystopian novels. *I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
  • The Grey Elk on Sep. 03, 2012

    Holy crap was this ever short! I was done in 15 minutes including distractions. But no less enjoyable. And what a beautiful eye catching cover, even for such a short little tale! Felt like a little fairytale with a nice feel good moral to the story. Pleasant read for children, and adults alike. I commend the author for building the characters up so well in such minimal length. He had me fairly intrigued, even though the ending felt a little rushed for my taste. But I very much enjoyed his style of writing.
  • Frost Arch (Book 1: The Fire Mage Trilogy) on Sep. 27, 2012

    I grabbed this book for review almost instantly after seeing the notification on the AWESOME book group on Goodreads, Shup Up & Read, solely because I had a cover orgasm. I LOVE THIS COVER! I did briefly review the synopsis and thought I would enjoy this novel. But after reading some very mixed reviews, I crossed my fingers that I was not going to struggle through this novel. AND I LOVED IT! Yes, this book needs a good editing once over. There are all kinds of small little errors that at times could be distracting, but I was so into the story and the characters of this book that they really didn't bother me enough not to continue to devour it! Avalon is naive, too trusting, innocent and sometimes annoyingly accident prone. She is whinny at times, and temperamental when she shouldn't be... but she is also an 18 year old. And one that was relatively secluded from her peers by her family, since she had a hard time controlling her powers. Not to say that I am stereotyping, but considering her situation, I didn't get very annoyed with some of the decisions that she made. I understood why she made them, whether out of sheer curiosity, misplaced trust, etc. She runs away into the big city of Frost Arch. She gets a job working in a manor lighting fires and warming up baths with her power, and gets into a ridiculous amount of mischief. She is a curious girl, and it gets her into trouble. She has a full bodied personality, and she is weak and she is strong. She is real and I enjoyed her character. I shook my head over some of the crap she got herself into. I cheered her on when she grabbed a hold of her power when she needed it the most. I was scared for her when she was overtaken by one of her masters, and hoped she would be rescued before the unthinkable happened! She was believable to me as a character and I cared for her. I LOVED Hawthorne! Who wouldn't love him? This beautiful flying fox, who is an absolute anomaly, but as faithful and loyal as a dog companion (with perks such as ferocity, flight, etc). I loved that both Hawthorne and Ava were connected as deeply as they were by the bonds of their love for each other. Jack was one of Ava's first friends in Frost Arch. And I am happy to know that I am not alone in saying that he really reminded me of Puck from the Iron Fey Series. Both Jack and Ava develop a very deep friendship which had me thinking that at any moment it will turn into romance... and I think by the end, I saw some not so subtle hints that it may. I was a little disappointed that it didn't turn romantic in this book, because Jack is just so endearing and a complete knight in shining armor with a heart of gold. I am really looking forward to reading more of the series, and promptly picked up a prequel on Jack's character which is availabe on Smashwords. If you are interested in getting a feel for the series pick up Jack Greenwood at Smashwords and give it a try. *I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
  • Cinderella and Zombies on Oct. 28, 2012

    Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven blog. This story was kick ass. I really liked it. So far, I have been very lucky with fairy tale re-tellings, with or without the zombie factor. Cinderella was definitely NOT a pushover in this story. She was a hard fighter from the very beginning. When the kingdom is under threat, she doesn't shy away from doing what she needs to do to help save it. She was even slightly arrogant about it, which made me laugh. Even the Prince was beneath her, at least in the beginning when her perception of him was that he was cowardly. But that if far from the truth. He is brave, if a little reckless. His so-called weakness is his father, King Richard, who isn't willing to have his son killed, or worse, as he needs his heir. If anything, the King is the simpering fool and I had an urge to reach into the book and slap him a few times. I thought the whole idea of the poisonous effect of vegetables on the zombies to be really original, and at times comical. That pumpkin carriage scene was fabulous. This story was full of action, comedic moments, and great characters. I can't believe it was only 73 pages! It felt like it was such a full story. Highly recommend this one. It was incredibly fun. *I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
  • Drowning on March 02, 2013

    Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven This is a sweet, beautiful short story of a princess that learns about her true worth the hard way. In fairy tales, that is usually through magical and unconventional means. I enjoyed the premise of the story. Princess thinks she is plain and wants true love. But because she doesn't believe that she is beautiful, she doesn't think that she will ever meet someone that will want to marry her because they truly care for her. In her mind, they won't see past her plain looks. It takes a magical entrapment at the bottom of a pond before this story fully realizes itself, and our princess finally realizes that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and that it resides within oneself. Another reviewer stated that this tale would do well as a children's illustrated fairy tale, and I have to completely 100% agree.