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Smashwords book reviews by tortoisebook

  • Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1) on July 07, 2011

    We first meet our heroine, Evangeline, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday. A social outcast with a tragic past, she has spent her teenage years shifted between foster families. That evening she meets Sofie, a glamorous and mysterious cafe owner. Sofie gives Evangeline a job and promptly whisks her off to New York and a life of luxury. Evangeline quickly realises that all is not what it seems from the opulence of her surroundings to the giant guard dogs sent to protect her. Each night when she sleeps, she is transported to another world of beautiful young vampires who need her help to escape their world and she develops a mutual infatuation with the lovely Caden. Evangeline is being used by both Sofie and her new vampire friends for their own needs. Her life is in danger and she needs to work out who, if anyone, to trust. The book did have some weaknesses for me. First, I didn't quite believe in Evangeline as a heroine. I liked her at first as she is very realistic and unassuming but, as the novel progressed, she didn't really have to do much. Her moments of danger were often solved by someone else's magic and her relationship with Caden was a classic case of teenage infatuation. I wished she had a bit more backbone and didn't fall for him so easily. This novel is an ok read and is an imaginative take on the popular vampire theme. The plot runs smoothly and I finished the book wanting to know what happens next. I think it would appeal to fans of this genre but it wasn't really for me.
  • Isle of Stumps on July 13, 2011

    This is a collection of 3 short stories. 'Isle of Stumps' is about a young man set adrift on a raft after failing a military test. He ends up on a remote island inhabited by grotesquely deformed people. The locals shun him and refuse to allow him to be part of village life. How far will he go in order to fit in? I was slightly disappointed with the sudden jump to the ending of this story although that did impart a shock factor. 'Swallowing a Boot' is about a group of army recruits whose every move is watched by their drill sergeant. One night a recruit sneaks out to buy junk food. He succeeds but is found out. I didn't quite get the meaning behind this story. Why did he take the risk knowing he'd probably get caught? Had conditions in the camp driven him to delirium and a need to rebel? The final story is 'Eight Legs to Doomsday' about some robot spiders set to take over the world. One tries to warn the humans but gets swatted with a newspaper leaving the rest to our imaginations. Also in my Kindle copy was an excerpt from Dennis's first novel, which I didn't read, and another short story 'Perfect' which I enjoyed about a man who prides himself on being perfect but who is actually very lonely. In all a good, well-written set of stories although not particularly to my taste.