Shannon Maechling


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Smashwords book reviews by Shannon Maechling

  • The Raven and the Plague on July 21, 2013
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    Overall, the writing of this story is much more concise and engaging. The dialogue is strong and consistent. There isn’t a lot of info-dropping, but rather dialogues and scenes of subtle clues and hints to suggest at what the author will eventually reveal at the finale. There are so many little things I liked, such as the multiple point of views (Shale, Mendall, Fleetwing, King Jalmor, Olivina, Obsidian, and more). I also liked that Shale’s other companions gained more abilities, and that we learned more about the abilities they had already possessed – like Laris’ trance dance. There were many scenes that contained fantastic imagery (such as the Glean tree and Elsik village that Shale reveals to Mishra and Noran) – hopefully someday an awesome artist will draw those scenes! I’m looking forward to book three and am a bit upset that I couldn’t find more information about it or its anticipated publication date. If Mancey offers ARCs for the next book – I will be begging her for a copy to read and review! Fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter will like this series. Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Appropriate for ages 14 & up. For my extended review, please see:
  • Something Furry Underfoot on Oct. 02, 2013
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    First, it's important for you to realize that I have 3 fur-kidz of my own. Come to think of it, I’ve had a pet at every point in my life. I remember growing up I had a black lab named Boots (who used to swing me on my swing), then a cat named Licorice, then another cat named AppleJacks (after my favorite My Little Pony), a dog named Holly (that I found while volunteering at the Humane Society), a cat named Cotton (bet you can’t guess what color she was), a sugar glider I named Snickles, another dog named Chief (who wasn’t really my dog, but I tried to claim her), a cat named Silver (who acted more like a dog), two ferrets named Bandit and Bella, a bird, some fish, and finally, my dogs Buddy, Lina and my adopted red-nosed step child Brutus. So, yeah, lots of pets. The best and greatest thing about Something Furry Underfoot is that while I was reading it, and laughing and crying, I thought back to all the fond memories I have about my previous and current pets. Peterson has inspired me to write down these memories, because I know once my dogs have passed, the memories will be the only thing I have left of them. I would recommend Something Furry Underfoot to anyone who has or had pets or anyone who simply loves animals. In fact, 18 pages into the story, I realized I had always wanted a hedgehog (but I doubt I’d be able to pull off Mark’s (Amy’s husband) look to get my way on that )! Peterson’s tales about her first batch of ferrets (especially the part about the ferret war dance) had me rolling because I remembered playing with Bandit and having him do what I called the ferret freak-out. If you’ve never had a ferret, then you’re missing out! Just read Amy’s book and you’ll realize what I say is true! There are tons of wonderful stories in Something Furry Underfoot. The overall message? How each and every animal touched Amy and Mark’s life! Overall rating 3.35 out of 5 stars. Appropriate for all ages. ***I received a free copy of Something Furry Underfoot from the author in exchange for an honest review.***
  • Death of the Mad Hatter on Nov. 29, 2013
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    What woman didn’t love the story of Alice in Wonderland when she was a little girl? I’ve seen and read many different twists of this famous classic and each time I’m amazed at the talent that can take such a distinct and well-known tale and create something new, something fantastical, something . . . wonderfully wonderous – and Pepper has certainly done just that. In order to possess the ability to write a spin-off worthy of a classic, the author needs to capture the overall essence of the original. So, what are some of the essential elements to Alice in Wonderland? Well, of course there’s the primary characters like the White Rabbit (or Mr. Ruth as the touchy rumperbabbit insists to be addressed), Mad Hatter (aka M.H. – real name unknown), the Queen of Hearts, and let’s not forget the Cheshire Cat (Chez – the embodiment of the true, devious nature of cats everywhere). The uniqueness of Pepper’s tale comes from her integration of the power of candy (say it with me now, “Mmmm, candy…”), the snarky politics, an unwitting heir, and the mysterious-malicious-lying-liar-fated-lover girl with a boy’s name. And don’t even get me started on the delightful yet headache-inducing riddles (can you believe the little buggers waited to unravel themselves until the very end?!?!)! Pepper’s writing style was quirky and bizarre – and after gaining a tenuous grasp of the ever changing ebb and flow, I realized it was the perfect fit for this tale, and I loved it! A little more info about the tale . . . Ryley, a baseball-jock-slash-physics-student with a wicked delicious bod first meets Alice Mae when she stops him from squashing her stuffed white rumperbabbit one morning. Ryley immediately realizes that Alice Mae isn’t a typical teenage girl (at least she’s nothing like the super-hot-and-desirable-red-head Courtney at his school). Plus, Alice Mae leaves his head spinning when she reveals that she knows about Ryley’s dad – and no one, except Ryley’s mom and best friend Dax, knows the truth about his dad. Despite finally landing a long-sought-after date with Courtney, Ryley realizes he can’t get Alice Mae out of his head. (Which lands Ryley in hot water with Courtney’s BFF, Becky – oh, I hated Becky – the nosy little hussy!) Ryley and Alice Mae discover they hate to love (or is it love to hate) each other. An infuriating relationship slowly builds. Secrets, lies and truths are tangled. A battle of wits ensues. A kiss causes walls to tilt and tiles to glow. Love blooms on pesticide-soaked petals of black-thorned red roses. Will it last? Or will someone lose their heads to Hearts? Some of my favorite lines from the story are: Verbal diarrhea, coming out in the form of an “umm,” was my reply. – Ryley (This one had me rollin’! Seriously, how do you not laugh hysterically when you read the words “verbal diarrhea”!) The eye shadow was flicked on his eyelids, like he had been trying to recreate donut sprinkles with makeup. – M.H. (A fine example of the magic and imagery of Pepper’s prose.) “I do suppose that nicknames hold the utmost significance, at times. Or it is the time that makes the nicknames important.” – M.H. (This is SO Mad Hatter!) “A world where the impossibilities of our most farfetched dreams come true—that is the essence of Wonderland.” – M.H. (Love This. Just. Love This.) “Frustrating isn’t it? Getting answers to questions you didn’t ask, but are noteworthy nonetheless.” – Ryley (I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives!) “What you think is the truth, and what is reality is not the same.” – the Jack (So philosophical!) Death of the Mad Hatter is a whimsical, dark, and gritty ride that will leave you falling down and up, sideways and everyways long after you’ve read the last word. I had never read a book by Sarah J. Pepper before, but after this, she’s definitely on my gotta-read list! I do believe a sequel is in demand!!!