Smashwords book reviews by shrating

  • The Golden Hall on July 30, 2015

    These poems are wonderful. They are written on an epic level with bold images and striking language. I really enjoyed them all, especially the one about mermaids.
  • Sixty-Four Days, A Sea Story on July 30, 2015
    (no rating)
    I heard this author read from his work and give a talk at our local library. It was great to hear him read from his novel Sailors Take Warning, so when he told about this free story I read it. My impression is that Mr. Torres is very knowledgable about ships and sailors. He is also schooled in classical literature which is interesting because his writing is quite contemporary and popular. I can't quite put my finger on it, execpt to say that he is dedicating himself to writing sea stories, and this particular story, Sixty-Four Days, is wonderful. He builds great characters with just a few simple descriptions, then he puts you in the situation with the characters. Torres knows how to turn up the heat with scorching action and tension between technology and personalities. Anyway, I highly recommend his work because it's different and new and fresh. You don't have to be a military person to appreciate it. It's classic.
  • SNAFU: Everyone Has Their Demons on April 17, 2016

    I just finished reading this weird and wonderful story. I'm not sure what to make of it, except to say that it caught me thoroughly by surprise. Sure, I expecting WWII fighting action (check) hard-boiled military types (check) US Navy ships and tough sailors (check) and some top secret element (check). This book also included some intense flying scenes, a very real sense of being RIGHT THERE on a carrier, with a black-ops team that involved a secret weapon that would tip the balance of the war in the Pacific. I highly recommend you read this if you like war stories + a twist.
  • Smashwords Style Guide on April 17, 2016
    (no rating)
    I'm not ready to publish my book yet, but I'm getting close. I have been looking this book over in preparation for formatting my manuscript. At first I thought it would be a major pain, but happy to report this book actually makes it look easy. Plus Mr. Coker adds a dash of humor here and there (yea I know hard to believe considering that this is a book about how to use MS Word to format ebooks - what could possibly be funny about that?). I also like the idea of supporting Smashwords because they upload to multiple platforms.
  • Lost Sunshine on July 21, 2016

    I got these poems on my phone and been dipping in, reading on the train to work and back. This here is deep dark sad, gothic, brooding, black, depressing states of mind. Some is the most sad things I ever read. The poet says things in a way that I know just how she feel and it hurts. The nice thing is that it's so true. And all that is why I like these poems so much. I been back reading some of these poems over and over 'cause they so dark and satisfying. I wish I could write well so I could tell you how much I like these poems.
  • That Damn Moon on July 21, 2016

    Well told very short story with a plot that moves along with mundane details and then a zinger twist at the end. I was drawn in and kept asking myself what was going on and what was going to happen. It was really basic stuff, but then the zinger at the end.
  • The Spirt of Surfing on July 21, 2016

    A nice effort by the author to tell a story about overcoming hardship in life, going someplace fun and having a special time. It could have moved along a little faster, there were a lot of action that just seemed to be moving the characters from one scene to the next.
  • Little John Lou and the Mariner's Bow on July 21, 2016

    A quite original adaptation of the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I want to emphasize that this is original with many nicely rhyming couplets, a unique plot and a character, but throughout there are parallel action and references to Coleridge's poem. Nicely done.
  • Sixty-Four Days, A Sea Story on July 21, 2016

    Senior Chief is a unique character, one not seen in most stories these days. The setting is dangerous and brought to life with many vivid details. The author has a knack for putting the reader in the scene. I could feel the flames and was afraid for my life as the action got going. Truly a sea tale of the first order. Also it was funny but serious all at once.
  • Drowndog on July 21, 2016

    Put me right in this lazy mellow scene and then kicked me in the gut. Recommended if you like short sleepers with a sucker punch.
  • Downtown Hattiesburg, MS 30 April 2009 on July 21, 2016

    The pictures in this book gave me a feeling of being a ghost walking around my small home town at the magical hour just before sunrise. The pictures have a mysterious feel, because the street lights are changing but no cars are on the street. One suggestion is to not put the grayish background on every page (in the PDF version) behind the pictures because it pulls the eye away from the photo. The gray background clashes a bit with the hazy blue sky in the pictures. A white background might be better.
  • Bloody Rain - Murder, Madness & the Monsoon on July 21, 2016

    This is a nice sea story. The author / narrator has serious technical and personal experience with sailors and ships. This experience comes through in the descriptions and characters. The main character is the captain and he's presented as powerful but with flaws that makes an impression on the reader. The main character's inner dialog is some of the best parts, showing how rough sailors are. This roughness comes through nicely in the captain's inner thoughts. For a sea story it has all the right ingredients, there's a nice setup and the main part of the action seemed a bit abrupt.
  • Stormsinger on July 21, 2016

    I like sea stories so this was an easy pick. And I've found that I particularly like sea stories with a twist and this one has several. First off the world in which the story takes place is human but otherworldly at the same time. Several characters have mysterious past and magical / special abilities. I'm not a book critic so not my best skill to critique stories and novels, but this is well written and interesting.
  • Smashwords Style Guide on July 21, 2016

    The instructions in this book are required to format your book for Smashwords. It's painful if you are not advanced-intermediate MS Word user. The good news is once you do this formatting to your book, it's good to go for SW, iBook and Barnes and Noble. One thing: It's 2016, why can't we just upload a PDF? It really should not be this complicated, should it? Sorry about whining (lol).
  • The Pirate on March 14, 2018

    Exciting thriller. Bonus points for the young Coast Guard sailor as main character. Plus, I love the setting in Key West.