Ray Chelle

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Smashwords book reviews by Ray Chelle

  • Angel Evolution on May 28, 2012

    The best thing about this book is its originality – most angel and demon books I’ve read are very clear – demons are bad, angels are good. This book questions those beliefs, and does so in a unique fashion. Taylor’s role is also different from most books – she’s not an angel, demon, or a simple love interest, but instead is *kind of spoiler* similar to an energy source for the angels, providing power “beyond your imagination” *end spoiler*. The plot is mildly engaging – it is interesting enough for you to want to keep reading, although it isn’t as suspenseful as it could be. However, there are points in the book where you think afterwards, Wow, this book/part of the story is really well written, or something along the lines of that. The main problem I had with the book is the lack of characterization and relationship development. Taylor and Gabriel’s relationship seemed rather flat, and is the classic “love at first sight tale”, without as much charm, as did Sam and Chris’s. Moreover, I found there wasn’t really anything interesting about Taylor (aside from her gifts), who seemed like the classic college girl and Sam (aside from the fact that she has a relationship with a demon), who seems like the classic prom-queen-cheerleader-pretty-good-at-everything-but-best-friends-with-the-normal-girl. Hopefully, there will be more of that in the rest of the trilogy (which I plan to read because the idea itself is so interesting). Overall, a book of this nature and price is worth reading, especially if you’re looking for a light, paranormal romance and aren’t picky with characters (unlike me, most of the time).
  • Phantom Universe on May 28, 2012

    To be honest, one of the main reasons I liked this book is because of the cute romance. I’m a sucker for it, and it just makes me go “Awwww…”, or something of the sort. Gage and Summer’s relationship is just so endearing, with Gage supporting Summer through almost every hardship and always understanding her – it seemed like a perfect relationship. However, how Gage was portrayed is also one of the slight problems I had with Phantom Universe. He seemed to good to be true, especially with his ranking as a Lieutenant. Nevertheless, it was cute to see how Gage helped Summer survive and eventually regain her voice. However, I also admired Summer’s strong bonds with Landon and Jaden. Their friendship was remarkable and reasonably developed throughout the story. They supported Summer as much as Gage did, if not more. The plot was well written – it had its peaks of excitement and moved along pretty quickly. My only complaint is that *spoiler* Summer’s rescue from the Secret Clock Society seemed to easy for the characters to go through. They encountered almost no problems, if not none. In addition, Gage’s relationship with Summer seems too good to be true, and developed relatively quickly. Finally, the regaining of her voice also seemed oversimplified. After all those years, how was it so easy for her to shout (not whisper, or simply say, shout) *end spoiler*. However, the romance probably pulled me in so successfully, I loved this book anyways. Despite my various problems with the plot and Gage, I’ll probably be reading the next book, Forsaken Harbor. It’s mainly because I’m curious to find out what happens to Julian, after he says *spoiler* Why did you make me love her? (Summer) *end spoiler*. I recommend this book to teens (mostly females) who are looking for a (free!) read who like romance and a bit of fantasy, for the romance is pretty endearing c:
  • Faelorehn - Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy on June 20, 2012

    Disclaimer: The fact that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review has not affected my rating. Before I start my review, I want to say that Faelorehn is a beautifully written book. The imagery is wonderful, and I love the prose the author creates! It's just that some of the situations and characterization are not suited for someone like me. Let me start off with what I liked. I liked how the author used Celtic mythology - it's been a while since I've seen that used in YA literature! The idea of Daemorehn (I hope I spelled that right...), Morrigan, and geis are unique and make the plot more interesting. These aspects are what made me keep on reading the book. In my opinion, the main fault is in the pacing of the book. Meghan finds out she's different at 47% into the book, and the action doesn't really start until about 60 or 70 percent. Before that, the book basically describes Meghan's daily life, where she and her friends are bullied. However, despite the heavy amount of time spent describing Meghan's more normal life, her friends were underdeveloped. For example, it was mentioned that Thomas was gay - what happens afterwards? That problem just kind of disappears... I also found Meghan to be an angsty teenager when it came to Cade. She didn't even know him that well - how could she claim to love him after so little meetings? Then after seeing Cade's "girlfriend", she goes into a state of depression - to me, that's overreacting, considering the time she new the guy and not knowing much about him. Moreover, he decisions she made seemed easily avoidable and kind of stupid. When she decided to go to the Otherworld, I was screaming in my head, No, you idiot! Don't go - she's probably some evil witch (probably Morrigan). She's tricking you! No. No. No. No. Don't go! I'm not sure if I was picky at that time, or if it's just me. But this book's characterization and pacing probably weren't for me and put me off a little.
  • Children of the Gods - A Chosen Novel on July 03, 2012

    Let me start off by saying I loved this book. Don't be fooled by my rating - although I actually consider 3.5 to be pretttty high - Children of the Gods is a beautifully written book that certainly made my heart ache. I should be a little ashamed to say this, but the best part of this book for me was the romance
  • Frost on July 04, 2012

    Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars Disclaimer: The fact that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review has not affected my rating. This review expresses my honest opinions. Frost is a book most people will enjoy, praise, and rate highly. As an action with light romance-type novel, I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, it’s as a dystopian novel and other essential factors of a story that I find is its downfall. Let me start off with what I liked. I loved the relationship within Lia’s family They were always supportive of each other, sacrificing their time, effort, health, and safety to help each other. Of course, their “family” eventually expands to include more people, but what I find amazing is that they would open their circle and treat past enemies or complete strangers as one of their own. OF course, they have their own quibbles and faults, making their family both realistic and touching. The concept of Watchers also pulled me in. My only complaint is that I wish their involvement could go beyond “Oh no, there’s a Watcher! Let’s run!”, especially in the beginning. I’m hoping their role could develop more in the sequel, Thorns, considering the revelation about their purpose in the end. The plot was also quick paced with action. However, the romance, although sweet & my guilty pleasure, seemed too quickly developed and premature. I suppose Gabe was saved by Lia, who also made many sacrifices for her family, but I still found it a bit premature :/ Finally, I found that Frost wasn’t “truly” a dystopian novel. After freshman lit and understanding what dystopias serve for the general public to realize, I found that Frost fell short. There was almost no back story – Where did the Farthers come from? Why did the Watchers exist? Why is the world this way? Also, the brief mention of magic in the end didn’t seem realistic, especially since there was also no back story. Overall, I just didn’t see the message in Frost dystopian novels are supposed to present. Overall, I found that Frost was a short and quick read. If you’re looking for an action, slightly romance-ish novel with dystopic elements, pick up Frost. However, if you’re one of those people like me who look for the “message” in dystopic novels, I suggest you try one of Paolo Bacigalupi’s novels if you haven’t.