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Smashwords book reviews by Marni

  • Project Hope on Aug. 26, 2012

    This book centers around 19 year old Dylan and the life he's had to endure the past two years and presently. The eldest of two children, his family was put behind the wall the seperates those who are free and those who are in the Zones. After a virus swept through the Zones, Dylan is not only the big brother but protector of his young sister Lil. The wall in this story reminds me a lot of the Berlin Wall. In fact Dylan, who is an artist, depicts the warden of the zones as Hitler in one of his pictures. The story follows Dylan over a short period of time, but gives a detailed look at his life and those around him. The monotonous factory work, the constant fear of what can happen in the dark, the thugs who rule the night and are doing what they can to make everyone's life even worse. Dylan finds himself done with this all and takes a stand. The story never seemed to have lull. Even if the characters themselves weren't doing too much, I was never bored. I didn't understand why Dylan, who is protective of his sister and extremely watchful of her, would go out in the middle of the night to paint part of the wall with pictures. If he had been caught by the guards or warden, he probably would never have made it back. If the Hoods had caught him, he would have been beat up if not close to death, than to death. As I had said, the wall was a reminder of the Berlin Wall and represented many things over the years. The biggest was The Iron Curtain, which seperated Western Europe from the communist rule of the Soviet Union. Families were seperated from each other, those who tried to breach the wall were shot, guards were a fierce presence. Not only was there similarities there, but also with the bar code tattooed on the factory workers. I found this as a comparison to the tattoos of those in concentration camps. What I didn't get from the story was why the wall was built in the first place, nor why or how the people who lived behind the wall were put there are chosen to be there. I had hoped there would have been answer to that, but was disappointed when I was left without answers. What I did get, was how a population cut off from society with no true government in place, could slowly implode but never give up hope for better. This book was provided to me, by the author, for review. I enjoyed this book and hope that there is a sequel. It would be great to see what happens with Dylan, the Zones and get some backstory.
  • Riley's Curse, A Moon's Glow Prequel on Oct. 01, 2012

    For anyone who knows me, you know that werewolves just aren't my thing. I am a fan of the unusual, but the mythological beast by night, human by day can bring the slow yawn of boredom to an upbeat day. I applaud Christina Smith for smacking down that yawn and shoving it from the furthest recess of my mind, for bringing back the power of the werewolf, for bringing this genre back to life for me. As the title states, this novella is about the curse that is brought unto Nathaniel Riley in the worst way. His life suspended, his love lost, his family unable to stay intact for fear the truth would be uncovered. Unlike most books, this prequel brings the reader right along with Nathaniel through the years. We hurt with him, we discover with him, we feel his pain, we feel his families pain, we understand his fear, we find ourselves one with Nathaniel. As I finished the prequel, I went straight into the first full length book of the Moon's Glow series, Riley's Secret . Stay tuned, once I'm done with that one, I will be back with another review, and I'm hoping that the story is as good as it's beginning.(
  • Riley's Secret, A Moon's Glow Novel #1 on Oct. 10, 2012

    First I want to thank the author, Christina Smith, for providing me with an ecopy of this book for an honest review. I don't know if I would have read the book otherwise just because of the subject of werewolves. See, I'm not a fan of werewolf books. I'm pretty open to all other paranormal beings, ok, vampires are not a fav either, but for some reason, I just can't get into werewolves. I was given the ebook, and of course, I read the prequel first, Riley's Curse, which I absolutely loved. Right after finishing, I jumped into this book. I was really hoping to continue on the bar set by that book. Unfortunately, it just didn't happen for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Riley's Secret, but the story just wasn't at the same level. Actually, I really wouldn't call this book much of a werewolf book, but if I go more into that I'd be giving away some spoilers, and I hate spoilers! On to the story. Rich girl hangs with the rich crowd, but really doesn't like them. A harmless prank shows her what her friends are really like. She goes into community service, finds she likes it, and finds herself falling for the untouchable boy from school. Attractive, but unsociable at school, he has a way with things at the home he works at. Yes, this is Riley, and yes, he's a werewolf, but she doesn't know it. This is one area the story seems to drag on. Okay, as we know, they do fall for each other, than shortly thereafter all hell breaks loose. Now, this is where the story takes off, unfortunately, this is also about 80% into the book. Now, would I recommend this book? Yes. To whom? Anyone who likes paranormal romance. Would I read the next book? Yes. I feel that this story can go far, and there are story lines that I want to know more about. I feel that the reader has all the backstory they could possibly need on the main characters that the story can only get fresher, faster, and crazier.
  • Qeya (Heaven's Edge #1) on Nov. 19, 2012

    First I wish to thank the author, Jennifer Silverwood, for providing me a copy to read and review. This genre is one of my favorites too. This novella, is centered around Qeya. She's the upcoming healer in her royal family. Travelling through the stars, hoping to return one day to the only home they knew, their craft is attacked and she, along with several others, escape to the alien planet below. Unfortunately only a handful survive and they are determined to find the group of their kind who had gone down to the planet earlier to survey. What follows is heartache, hope, loss, love, and more. I found myself quickly attached to the story. I didn't want to put the book down at all, I carried it everywhere with me. The beginning had a few distractions though. The wording was a bit rough in spots and the imagery wasn't as clear as could be. There were times when I just couldn't picture what the characters were seeing or describing. I would have liked a bit more time on the craft before it's destruction, investing myself a bit more into the culture these beings had been transferred into. Once on the alien planet, a new friendship is forged with a fellow being whose social stature had been considered much below them. You get the feel of racial prejudice being more than just earth bound. The author gives you just enough to understand the social chain, but doesn't drag it on, thankfully. I found myself enjoying a YA scifi that is a bit different than what is out there right now. The roots of the book being a traditional scifi without all the extra elements of other genres being thrown in. The ending of this novella comes to a quick wrap up, too quick for my taste. I wanted more. So you may be asking why only 3 stars? Wording and an inconsistent pace of the story is why. The story itself? I look forward to reading the other books/novella's in this series. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good scifi with mutually strong characters and not a lot of romance thrown at you.
  • Double Fault on Jan. 02, 2013

    I received this book for an upcoming Supagurl Blog Tour for an honest review. Thank you! For those that have read the first book in The Vortex Series, Rematch, this is quite a different book. Do not expect much time travel and you will not be disappointed. This book is largely on the newer relationship between Cassie and Trent and the changes in the parallel world they are now living in. No, there's not like crazy things happening, just the changes of people they were close with previously. Trent & his sister, Lorelai, are still in hiding from PI's. Their identities closely hidden from those close to them. Cassie starts thinking about life without tennis, and slowly the story evolves. Honestly, for a good bit of the book I was waiting for something more than romance. I really wouldn't classify this as a paranormal book except for brief instances of the time travel. Finally, things started taking a turn. Trent and his sister have been found and the repercussions have a ripple affect. Bits and pieces of their true identity strung out with further lies come out for the rescue of someone close to them. A life is lost. Heartaches resound. This all climaxing to a point that you want to say, duh, why didn't you think of that before? The end of the story wraps up nicely until a twist is thrown in. This twist will lead into the third book of the series, Deuce. As of this writing the release date is unknown. This book was so different to me than Rematch that I, at first, had a hard time connecting with it. I love paranormal books, and as I said earlier, this book was much more romance than my usual liking. The romance took away from the uniqueness of the original story line. Once the action kicked in, I was along for the ride. I didn't want to put it down. The cover art and the tennis referance for the title, still not my thing. I really won't go into that though because it doesn't affect my review as a whole. Would I recommend this? Yes, for those that want to further the story of Rematch and for those who like a sweat romance. Now, I just wish I knew when Deuce was coming out and what it will be all about!
  • Rematch on Jan. 02, 2013

    First I want to thank the author, Janine Caldwell, for providing me a copy of Rematch for an honest review. Second of all, I want to say WOW! That was one amazing read. I have to be honest, I was initially turned off by the title and cover. It just didn't make me want to read it. When I did start to read, I got sucked into the story and didn't think much more of the former. The book centers around a time traveling teen boy, his sister, and the girl he's met before in her past and fallen for in the present. The story really takes you for a turn during the last quarter of the book. You will not want to put it down. There is a uniqueness to the story that caught my attention. Time travel has been done before, on many levels, but this story was fresh, modern and enjoyable. There were times the story seemed to drag on a bit, when I thought that with all I had read that I should have been farther along than I was but it didn't draw out through the entire book. As a reader, there are answers to questions that were at the back of your mind. The end has given me another question though, who's at the door? When you read the book, you'll understand. I recommend this to all who enjoy paranormal, scifi, romance, YA, etc. I am looking forward reading the second book in the series, Double Fault.
  • Mirror of Shadows on May 08, 2013

    A paranormal whodunit that grabbed me, pulled me into the book and didn't let go until the last word of the last page. A quick read, but a satisfying read. The author, respecting the readers time, gives enough of a back story to start off with that you can go forward quickly. A story within a story. A mirror that provides visions into the past. Betrayals, romance, sabatoge, and mystery wrap this story all into a finely done package. I want to thank the author for providing me a copy for an honest review. A secret gem that shines on its own. Why only 4 stars? I pretty much figure out early on who was behind all the attacks, but it didn't take away from the ending at all. I would have liked just a bit more mystery, a bit more of tagging me along trying to guess who was the bad guy. Ella's mother is a basketcase. That being said, she didn't seem to find a solid place in the story. Now, if the author proceeds further with this storyline, I can see where she could fit in later, but in this book she could have just been left out altogether. Do I recommend this book? Yes!!! To who? Anyone who likes a good mystery, from 6th grade through the age of 100. The paranormal hold part of the story, but there's so much more to it than that.
  • To Stand Beside Her on May 29, 2013

    First off, Smashwords won't allow 1/2 stars I upped this to a 4. Personally, I feel it was a 3.5. That isn't horrible by any means, I just didn't feel it was a full 4 star read. I went into this book looking for something a bit different than the usual read. The author had stated that ending was not typical so I was itching for the difference. Unfortunately, getting to that point was a bit bumpy. The author provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review. It started off interesting enough, but I just couldn’t get fully into the story. The main character Leila, is a very well-known mischief maker aka “expert courier”. As stated in the book she was “a ghost to many and a legend to everyone else. “ To me she comes across as many things but I wouldn’t label her a ghost. There were parts in the book that just seemed to contradict her awareness. One example is when the king picked her up, out of her bed and took her to the boat where she continued to sleep. Honestly, I would have seen her do some serious ninja moves and give the king a few bruises before someone calmed her down. Now that would have been believable. The story itself is laid out nicely. Plenty of description, but not in an overbearing way. Sometimes too much going on in the story, trying to figure out who was who but all in all everyone had their place. Described with beauty, she can easily fool someone who is not knowledgeable of her toughness. As the story evolves, so does the relationship between Leila and Nalick. The story starts off as one of adventure but the true story is the bond that binds the two and just how much he loves her. Along with the evolution of the characters, I found myself changing my perspective of the story. There was a tenderness that I didn’t expect to feel. And yes, I went from cynical reader to one who rooted for the relationship and hoping that the ending wasn’t what was prophesied by the seer. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good love story with a touch of toughness that round out the characters. I recommend this to anyone who has felt a loss but has come out stronger. This is a book that will tear at your heartstrings but in a way that doesn’t leave you devastated.
  • John Dreamer on April 24, 2014

    A book with a whole lot of potential that to me fell short multiple times right when things started getting interesting again. The premise of the book is original and unique. Seven people, their own identities down to their style of chair, wind up in the White Room together with no rhyme or reason at the start. There’s about every type of person represented and the reader gets to see them as they truly are, not by what is just on the outside. I must say, when the Guardian appeared it reminded me of the musical number from Grease, Beauty School Drop Out. The story itself does not move very fast. I was bored by the second page but just knew things had to get better. I went back and checked on review sites to see that the ratings of this book are all over the chart, so it’s definitely not a book for everyone but there is a niche that it fits well into. I don’t have a problem with a book that isn’t a good fit for everyone, because nothing has a place in the world like that. So I continued on to see what the story would bring me. The place the group was in was constantly changing. Items would appear out of nowhere and disappear without warning. As the room changed, so did the situations the seven would experience. The author picked up on the anxiety of everyone well, the nervous bickering, name calling, image slamming, etc. The way the human brain puts up a defense mechanism when dealt with stimuli that is unknown, scary and bewildering. The chapters each start off with a heading and a picture. Some of the pictures really make you think, wondering what it means and others just seemed to be a bit out of place. The Guardian is a bit over the top but brings the readers interest back to him to try to help put some pieces of the puzzle together. Many times he talks in riddles, but knowing that you start analyzing what he says and does a bit more. The end brings some resolution and understanding but at the same time leave you with questions. Being this is the first book in a series, doing so makes perfect sense. As I said before, this isn’t a book for everyone, but I really can’t gauge who would like this book and who wouldn’t. It’s definitely worth finding out on your own. Speaking for myself, it was an interesting read but I really don’t have the urge to read further with the series. I might later on though, I guess I’ll have to wait and see.