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Smashwords book reviews by manda-rae reads

  • The Hollow of Mont Noir on April 13, 2012

    Oh the horrors of moving from one city to another right before starting your senior year in high school. Trust me when I say it isn't fun (because I've experienced it). However, I've never experienced moving for the purpose of locating a missing brother. Regardless, I thought this quirky tale was a great read! The beginning starts out a little slow because we're receiving a lot of background knowledge that kind of explains what Allison's family believes happened to Logan and how it's caused them to end up in Mont Noir. Allison's life is just like the average teenager's life, and I enjoyed reliving the new-girl-high-school experience (and I'm glad it wasn't me reliving it). Allison meets some interesting characters, but there's one boy that pretty much draws Allison's (and therefore the reader's) attention. I loved the mystery surrounding Riordan and the romance that sparks between the two. And then we get the added bonus of paranormalness, and I really enjoyed how it played out. The only question I was left with is what caused Riordan to be so attracted to Allison. And maybe the beauty's in the mystery or maybe there's some underlying reason that we find out about later (or maybe I'm just a little too caught up in this tiny portion of the story). If you liked Twilight, then you'll most definitely enjoy this read. I imagine those that liked Shiver might like this as well (I wasn't a huge fan of Shiver, so I might be wrong). It's a good paranormal romance with a happy ending. And I'm glad there will be a second one coming. Let me leave you with a quote from the book that I absolutely loved: Hope is a vampire, relentless and evil. It slowly sucks the life out of you while it lives on, lurking in the shadows, waiting to feast on your soul. -Hollow of Mont Noir, p 3
  • Died On The Vine on July 08, 2012

    A classic who-dunnit mystery. Set in Virginia, we have a mystery man visiting Cissy and Jack's winery claiming that Cissy's first, late husband is alive. There are quite a few references to the Vietnamese war in this book, so be ready. A few days later, Cissy finds this mystery man dead in her vineyard, and the easiest suspects to pin his murder on would be her and her husband. So what else do you do besides become an amateur detective? Did I enjoy this read? Yes, there were a lot of twists and turns, a lot of humor, and everything was answered in the end. This is probably the first book that I've read this year that actually has a solid ending without leaving unanswered questions. Who would I say needs to read this? People who enjoy a good, light-hearted mystery. It's something you can pick up one lazy Sunday afternoon to read. Sidenote on the cover: After reading the book, I absolutely love the cover. It's perfect!
  • The Athena Effect on Nov. 23, 2012

    Imagine placing someone, who's been kept away from our world, into society. Kind of like having a toddler in a grown body. Kind of, sort of. Cali went through this ordeal after her parents passed away abruptly. She was hidden away from society only to be dropped into it quickly. Common words, funny things we do that make sense, etc. don't make a whole lot of sense to her. So we can imagine how well she fit in at school. She's also got this cool ability to see how other people are feeling which kind of makes her a very good lie detector. And of course, girl meets boy. The kind of bad boy that we all want to hate but somehow can't resist. Cal, a biker punk, who's spent life falling down and trying to work his way back up to normalcy. Of course, once he meets Cali and pays attention to her, he falls for her. And it's love from there on. I liked the romance; it pretty much fills up the first two-thirds of the book. And then we start to see some good paranormal action. I still can't decide which part of the book I liked more. There's a character, Layla, that's in the later parts of the book that I would have really liked to have learned more about. But anywho, I did enjoy the story. There's a nice twist right at the very end as well. For the girls that need a feel-good romance with some paranormalness, go read this one. It also helps if you like kissing details...
  • Number City on Nov. 23, 2012

    Math City is a short story using numbers and mathematical symbols to tell a story of power, war, and poverty. I think everyone can somehow relate this story to their own corner of the world's issues. However, I had a hard time following the broken english. There are two main characters searching for power: the Lying Line and the Upward Lying Line. We see a lot of side characters, and the story details how these main characters try to help them and their city. But in the end, they are motivated by greed, corruption and power. And as the lowly can rise to power, so can the powerful fall down. The thought and the story behind the story have a lot of potential to be very powerful. However, I think the grammatical mistakes held me back, and I kind of wished the story had put more depth to the characters. This book has comparisons to Animal Farm, but I think another good comparison would be The Good Earth. This is something I could see people picking up and reading while waiting to see their dentist or doctor in some type of office. It's a short read and thought-provoking. I recommend you pick it up when you have an hour to spare (and only if you aren't going to get hung up on the grammar).