More Than Meets the Eye
on Feb. 24, 2014
This book has various weaknesses, more on them later, but it's strength lies in it's characters, who are generally likable and interesting, particularly the protagonist. Which is a good thing because neither the plot nor the ideas contained in the book are particularly strong, so the entertainment value of the book almost entirely rests on the shoulders of the protagonist; fortunately Cooper manages to make this work.
Natasha, the protagonist, comes across as a good person, and you naturally want to see good things happen to her, but, and this may be a problem for some people, she is also very definitely a feminine heroine; she tends towards being reactive rather than proactive, passive rather than active. While the authoress describes Tasha as having martial arts training and significant combat skill, she never actually demonstrates it. This isn't to say that she isn't a courageous character, but most of the action burden falls on the males that surround her.
To give an example the two biggest action scenes in the book actually involve Natasha courageously running _away_ from the danger. And I'm not being sarcastic here when I say courageously; in both cases she's leading the danger away from someone else, or towards a trap. She is certainly a heroine, and not just the "heroine" of this story, but she is equally certainly not an _action_ heroine.
There are some hints of a Mary Sue in the main character, in that she's a magical special snowflake essentially, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Wendy Cooper looks a lot like Natasha. ;-) On the other hand, the author has made Natasha a legitimately likable person, and not just someone that the characters all like for no good reason. (Though pretty much all of the good characters do like her, based on how she treats them you can easily understand why they do)
The one character weakness of the book is the antagonist; for much of the book the antagonist isn't even involved in the events going on, and after he comes onto the scene he isn't given any depth, or particularly interesting personality or background.
There's also some editing and formatting problems with the book. In my case they weren't enough to ruin my enjoyment of the book, but some people might be more sensitive to such issues. (I find it relaxes me to circle problems I find in books as I read them, so I've got a list of problems I noticed if the author wants to contact me with the email address on my profile)
I'm male and tend to prefer more action-orientated rather than romance-orientated fiction, so I'm a little out of the target audience for this book, but I never-the-less enjoyed it, and found myself losing a bit of sleep so I had time to finish it, so I'd give it a rating of "Good/Recommended" or four stars.
* The main characters are interesting and likable.
* There isn't any overt political or religious message.
* The characters don't offend my broadly conservative morality, but neither do they shove their morals in your face, so they will most likely not offend you even if you disagree with me.
* The Plot is lacking, and the antagonist is weak.
* The "mystery" elements are rather limited.
* The book needs some more work on editing and formatting.
Women who like paranormal romances, but prefer their heroine not to sleep with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who makes her all hot and bothered.
Wes Parker: Monster Hunter (Volume One)
on March 27, 2014
This book is laugh out loud funny, it's probably one of the funniest books I've read in a while. The main character is a kind of stupid teenager with super-powers who hunts vampires, werewolves, trolls, etc.
If you're expecting a serious work you're going to be disappointed, this isn't it, but for what it is, it's pretty good.
The humour style isn't real common in mainstream works, but it reminds me of webcomics. It's a sort of free-spirited, funny-cool combination that doesn't take itself very seriously.
It has some oddities in the language used in various parts. It felt like it could use the hand of a serious editor, on the other hand sometimes editors tend to flatten out the jokes a bit on comedic works in this sort of style, so it might be better to live with the occasional oddness. Plus either it got better, or I got used to it, because after the first story I pretty much didn't notice it any more.
Overall, I'd recommend it, since I thought it was hilarious despite the occasionally disjointed language, so I'm giving it a rating of "Good/Recommended" or four stars, and if the editing was a little better I'd upgrade that to "Strongly Recommended" or five stars.
* Interesting enemies.
* Some Editing Problems
Ideal Audience: Action/Horror fans who want a good laugh.
on June 18, 2014
This is a pretty straight-forward pulp fantasy, there's nothing wrong with it, but nothing particularly to recommend it. The "surprise" twist is not going to surprise you (the title gives you a pretty strong hint), but it's solid, straight-forward entertainment for the few hours it will take to read it. I give it a rating of Worth Reading (especially given it's free) or three out of five stars.
* Plenty of action.
* Surprise twist is given away in the title.
Child of the Ghosts
on June 18, 2014
This is a pretty dark story about death magic, and the people who fight against it.
The more interesting element of this story (and it's sequels) is that it explores characters that are normally just the supporting cast of other fantasy works, ie the titular Ghosts, who are basically the spies and assassins of the good-ish empire.
It's a good fun read, and I can't really describe why it doesn't achieve Greatness for me, but it doesn't, so it's Good or four out of five stars.
* Explores a couple of character archetypes that are often simply background characters if that in other fantasy works in interesting ways.
* Nothing worth mentioning.
on June 18, 2014
The world this story reveals to us is quite interesting (though it has some similar themes to the Ghosts series by the same author), and would come across as my favourite of the books of Moeller I've read so far. It's not a complete story by any stretch though; it's basically a preface to the story of the characters, but I rather liked them.
(I haven't got around to buying it's sequels, but I really should)
* Interesting world building.
* Interesting and likable characters.
* Short; an intro to the world and characters rather than a complete story.
The Tower of Endless Worlds
on June 18, 2014
This would by my least favourite of the author's books. Normally I wouldn't review a book that I disliked this much, particularly one with so few reviews, but I've rather enjoyed some of the author's other books, so I forced myself to finish it, and frankly I didn't enjoy it. It's not terrible, but it's not very good either.
The male main character came across as a bit of a weenie, and the love interest was irritating. I found myself not particularly caring about any of the other characters either.
The guns are invincible trope annoyed me also.
* Interesting and different world.
* Unlikeable main characters (though that may just be my personal preference).
* Guns are not invincible!