Valerie Fink


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Smashwords book reviews by Valerie Fink

  • Lor Mandela - Destruction from Twins on Sep. 08, 2011

    My Summary: So there’s this power grab happening on Lor Mandela. It doesn’t go well and a lot of people die. Not so good for the planet either because the magic used in the power grad corrupts the magic holding the world together. The good news is that the child of balance has the power to restore the balance. The bad news is that well, she isn’t even born yet. And skip to Maggie living on Earth in a boring little town in the mid-west. She would love some excitement in her life. That is until she gets some. She keeps finding herself pulled onto Lor Mandela where they believe she is the child of balance. With time running out and no one seems to be able to stop it, will Lor Mandela survive? Will Maggie figure it out in time to save herself and the ones she loves? Good questions. Like I'm going to tell you. =) My thoughts: 4 stars- a great read Okay, before I tell you my thoughts, I need to explain a few things about my reading. I read paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk, and sometimes a little dystopia. I normally do not read epic fantasy. Not that it’s not good, it’s just that I get bored and overwhelmed by all the world building. Now with that said, I do like Eragon and am waiting, not so patiently, for book four. (Where has that boy been anyway?) But I’m not a Lord of the Rings kind of girl. It’s hard to wade through the many new creatures, cultures, strange names and such. Whereas the books I read normally have the setting at least in some world that I recognize and can relate to. Then they add a few weird things and I can deal with that. There’s usually equal amounts of world building and character development. I’m comfortable in those kinds of books. So with that in mind, let me tell you about Destruction from Twins. This book is more epic fantasy than not. There is a lot of world building. Lots magic going on and creatures I don’t know about. There are strange names and titles. So before you run away, I loved this book. While the world building was there, it wasn’t overwhelming just different than what I’m used to. I slipped through 50 pages in nothing flat. I began to try and figure out when we would see Maggie (I learned about her from the back of the book). Then I tried to keep up with the twists and turns. Let me just say that I have never had an author kill off so many main characters so quickly. Wow. And the plot was a winding twisting maze that I really enjoyed. Usually, I can predict what’s coming or at least the direction of what’s coming. Not this time. I finally quit trying to guess and just held on for the ride. My one complaint would be character building. From someone who is used to lots of that, this book fell short there. There were too many people falling in love that had really only known each other for a short time. Umm no. But I still enjoyed the story. Lucky for me, I have the sequel in hand. You should be watching for the cover reveal for book two, Four Hundred Days right here July 7th.
  • BOUND (#1 in The Crystor Series) on Nov. 23, 2011

    My Summary: Kira's mom thinks she's a mouse and underfoot. Her only friend is Lydia but there's something up with her eyes that Kira can't quite pin down. Then there's this feeling of being watched. But the truth is so far from anything Kira ever imaged. As a trip to the mountains to take pictures turns to a fight for survival, Kira must make a choice. Will she risk her life to safe her friend or run away like the frightened mouse her mom believes her to be? What about the mysterious brother that Kira didn't know she had? Why does he seem to know her? What are the feeling Kira sees in his eyes and in her own heart? As the danger increases, will any of them survive or will Kira find the strength to overcome the odds? My Thoughts: 3 stars - a good read What is different and unique about Bound is the mythology that C.K. weaves through its pages. It's not a fey world but there is magic. It's not a werewolf world but there is shape-shifting. It's not a vampire world but there is blood lust. Tying all of these things together with "out of this world" lure, C.K. creates a very original world. The characters are complex and entertaining. Kira is quiet and reserved but has a feisty side that is quickly brought out by Octavion. His temper and rough edges motivate a stronger side of Kira. They complement each other well but of course they can’t make it that easy for each other. Lydia is very interesting. The mystery of her kindred spirit is another very original aspect of this book. I really want to know what happens with that aspect of the book in Broken. While this book really starts as an urban fantasy, but it’s more of an epic fantasy. If that’s your thing, than this is a good one to pick up.