February 29, 2020
A World Beyond is the sixth and final installment of the magical, fantasy, children’s book series Magora created by Marc Remus.
Holly O’Flanigan and her friends Amanda, Brian, and Rufus follow the evil Duke of Cuspidor and his army of Unfinished into a painting and enter a whole new world where a small group of creatures, the Cenamels, are hiding somewhere. These creatures are protecting a very powerful, magical item that may tip the scales in favor of Cuspidor and may cause the destruction of Magora.
Equally important to Holly as the future of Magora is the possibility of finding the double of her grandfather, Nikolas, who may hold the answers to Holly’s questions. Little does Holly know that there are far more shocking secrets waiting to be discovered.
More intense, more exciting, and more suspenseful than any of the previous five installments, this book offers fiercer and more matured Holly O’Flanigan. Moreover, it features more page-turning chasing scenes and more rousing battle scenes as well as scenes displaying advanced magic.
However, though I, immensely, enjoyed this final book in the series, it leaves me with a tiny pinch in my heart. First, I find Rufus’s participation very minimal compared with Brian’s and Amanda’s. Second, there are too many “how’s” and “why’s” that keep playing in my mind. Finally, I want to know more about what happened after. It seems like the author deliberately left it at that to give the readers the freedom to imagine how the story might have played out. If that were the case, then, the author successfully did just that.
January 15, 2020
Order of Seven is an intriguing, suspenseful and mind boggling ancient historical fiction book by Beth Teliho.
Devi has been having strange and recurrent dreams. Orphaned at a young age, Devi and her brother Nodin are adopted by kind and wonderful parents. However, despite the loving environment they grew up in, Devi and Nodin have special abilities that they would never understand unless they find out about their biological roots. While Nodin has empathic gifts, Devi has visions and an attachment to a particular tree.
Now, at eighteen years old, Devi’s visions and dreams are getting more vivid and more detailed, and her need to connect with her tree is getting more frequent. With the help of a friend and a newly-met energy healer that makes her heart flutter, Devi takes a step, previously inconceivable to her, and discovers a shocking revelation not only about herself but also about the world.
This is a very interesting, intriguing, suspenseful and mind-boggling book that integrates myths, legends, and ancient history with modern and contemporary setting by featuring teenage characters and modern technological devices. Characters are well-developed with distinctive personalities. However, though the likely favorites are Devi and Baron, mine are Ben and Mapiya. They are my type of modern mystics. Quiet but powerful.
Congratulations to Beth Teliho (@beth_teliho) on such a very interesting and entertaining book. For more books by the author, click HERE.
December 16, 2019
Rose Hill is a suspenseful crime and thriller novel and the first in the Rosehill Mystery Series created by Pamela Grandstaff.
The peace and quiet of the pretty, little town of Rose Hill is disturbed when the murdered body of their most obnoxious citizen, Theo Eldridge, is found in the veterinary clinic. Upon investigation of the case, Police Chief Scott Gordon finds that there are too many people with scores to settle with Theo, and though his murder in not altogether unwelcome, it is, somehow, a relief. As the investigation progresses, the number of possible suspects rises up. Moreover, Scott realizes that his beloved Rose Hill is not as quiet and as pretty as it seems.
This is an exciting crime and thriller novel. It features multiple subjects including murder, blackmail, friendship, kinship, and illicit relationship, among others. By portraying the victim as a totally despicable and dishonorable person, the author elicits mixed emotions from the readers: extreme dislike, if not hate, for Theo; sympathy for Chief Gordon, empathy for particular characters like Ava, Sean, and Enid, and overall excitement for the case to be solved.
Though the premise is far from unique, the glimpse in the life and personality of each character is enough to keep the readers interested. Character development is well-done and complete with realistic manner of speaking and choice of vocabulary. Finally, though I find the ending a bit anticlimactic, it opens doors for possibilities and more promising books in the series.
Congratulations to Pamela Grandstaff (@RoseHillMystery) on such a great book. For more books by the author, click HERE.
August 23, 2019
U-10 is an exciting and suspenseful science fiction thriller by Sam B. Miller II.
While on a mission to remove Insurgents from dusty settlements on the hills of Afghanistan, Lt. Ty Lavender and the rest of the Orion Squad stand witness to the thundering crash of an unidentified flying object. After finding a strange satchel and a box of cards from the crash site and getting rid of a few Insurgents sneaking on them, Lavender and his men leave and get into position around the perimeter of the crash site. Shortly after, a group of people wearing full coverage combat gear arrives and takes over the crash site.
Meanwhile, the lone passenger of the UFO is watching from a distance, near where his escape pod has landed. Extremely confident that the inhabitants of this planet are too primitive and too intellectually inferior to understand advanced technology, the passenger feels apprehensive when he sees the U-10 draped over the shoulder of one of the humans. Little does he know that there are much more to the humans than he knows.
This is an exciting and suspenseful, fast-paced and easy to read science fiction thriller. The plot is unpredictable and offers a series of twists and turns making the book a real deal page-turner. Though the concept of an alien aircraft crashing down the desert seems quite trite and overused, the introduction of U-10, a survival tool with multiple uses involving single-use cards that produce advanced and sophisticated but disposable weapons, is enough to put sci-fi fans on the edge of their seats. Characters are provided with sufficient back stories to make them life-like which makes it easy to visualize them as real people. Moreover, the author creates the perfect protagonist in Lt. Ty Lavender, the smart, brave, compassionate, and loyal soldier and leader. More than the vividly described scenes, I love the depiction of human attributes including loyalty, concern, and compassion as well as zealotry, greed, and narcissism.
Congratulations to Sam B. Miller II (@SamBMillerII) for another great book! For more books by the author, click HERE!
August 8, 2019
Brooding City is an intriguing and exciting paranormal thriller and the first book in the Brooding City Series created by Tom Shutt.
Detective Arthur Brennan works at Odols Police Department. Unbeknownst to his partner and to everybody else, however, he is a former Sleeper. Sleepers are individuals who can enter the dream of others and drive them to madness. They are people with extraordinary gifts and live among ordinary people.
Meanwhile, young Jeremy Scott discovers something special, albeit scary, about himself. He can access other people’s memories. With his newly-found gift, he finds out something that shakes his being to the core.
This is an interesting, intriguing, and an easy-read book. It explores the dream realm and subtly integrates it to the waking world. The story has two main plotlines, one features Detective Brennan who is presented with a murder case involving drugs, and the other features Jeremy Scott with his newly-discovered gift. The author creates intriguing characters including Detective Brennan himself, Uncle Rick, and Old Benjamin.
However, though the plot is, understandably, vague with this book being the first installment, I still find it difficult to stay interested. It is just not easy to stay focused when the scene shifts every other chapter and the details are given in painstakingly gradual manner. Moreover, it is hard to connect with the characters. Despite the backstories, I still feel that something is being held back which makes connecting with the characters not easy. Finally, the ending is inconclusive which could mean the reader has to read the next book to enjoy it fully.
Still, this is a very intriguing book and some readers may find it enjoyable. Congratulations to Tom Shutt (@TomShutt) on such an interesting book. For more books by the author, click HERE.
July 26, 2019
The Chosen is the first book in The Compendium of Raath Series created by Michael Mood.
Young and abused farm girl, Wren Hartfield, runs away from home. Helping a caged ape earns her a burning symbol on her forearm and most unlikely friends. Otom Aldenburg is a self-exiled Monk haunted by his past. He survives an attack on the Kilgane Monastery by monstrous creatures. Krothair Mallurin is an orphan who dreams to be a Kingsguardian. He is sent to apprentice under the legendary sword master. Halimaldie D’Arvenant is a successful businessman who is about to discover something he was never willing to believe before. Then, there is Cleric Domma of the Sunburst Temple whose power allows her to discover who attacks a patient under her care.
They are the Five Mages of Raath, a place where magical powers are earned for doing good deeds. Each of them travels to the Temple of Sin’ra for instructions from God.
This is an exciting and suspenseful book of magic and adventure. It has a consistently steady pacing and an unpredictable plot. Scenes are described in vivid detail and the suspense is maintained until the last pages of the book. Though the ending is, understandably, cliffhanger, common to books in series, it gives a certain feeling of closure to the readers. Most of the characters are endearing and all of them are intriguing making the readers want to read more.
Congratulations to Michael Mood (@michaeldmood) on such a great and enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.
July 16, 2019
Life First is Book 1 of the Dystopian Series created by RJ Crayton.
Kelsey Reed just gets marked. She is found to be the best match for a man in Virginia with failing kidneys. According to the law of Federation of Surviving States (FoSS), what was left of the former United States after a pandemic that wiped out 80 percent of the population, the government is to take one of Kelsey’s kidneys and give it to the ailing man.
Kelsey has no problem sacrificing a part of her body, but, if she does, it must be on her own free will and not because it is mandated by law. So, she decides to escape. In order to do that, however, she needs to take out her life monitoring system.
Kelsey knows she cannot do it alone. She needs the help of her boyfriend, her best friend, a shady doctor, and other individuals who, unexpectedly, turn out to be on her side.
Told in the first-person perspective of Kelsey Reed, this is a fast-paced, exciting, and suspenseful dystopian thriller that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats. The plot is very unpredictable with plenty of surprising twists and unexpected turns of events. It is made more exciting and interesting by a combination of medical and court drama. Scenes are described in vivid detail and dialogues are fitting. In addition to the exciting plot, the author creates a set of interesting characters, some of them quite endearing. Though the obvious favorite is Kelsey, I find Luke Geary the ultimate hero while Susan Harper is the brave and devoted best friend.
Needless to say, I enjoyed the book immensely. I find it thought-provoking. It questions how much the readers value their freedom to decide over their own body. It is interesting, exciting, and suspenseful. It is a great first installment for a book series.
June 25, 2019
Two Minutes to Midnight is a titillating paranormal romance and the first in The Carpe Noctem Series created by Willow Salix.
Topaz Thompson is a practicing Wiccan. She teaches Mythology and Folklore at Athena’s Academy, a school that specializes in things weird and wonderful. When she is sent to investigate a self-professed supernatural being, Topaz is more than willing to go. What she discovers, however, is more than she hopes for.
In addition to the proof of existence of the most elusive supernatural creatures, Topaz finds something else, something beautiful and magical, something that she has found difficult to come by as evident by the string of failed blind dates she has been recently.
This is a very interesting book that offers a different take on the legends of the night walkers. Though the subject is far from unique, the theme of true and undying love, in addition to a fair amount of unexpected twist and turn of events, is enough to keep the reader’s interest. Sex scenes are described in vivid detail and the characters range from fascinating, to intriguing, to endearing. Though the ending seems a bit anticlimactic, I find in necessary and understandable.
All in all, I enjoyed this book more than I expected I would. It is interesting and entertaining. It is also quite an easy read. However, other readers may find the sex scenes a bit too much, more, in fact, than the description and profile of the supernatural creatures being featured in the book. It seems like the author focused more on the erotic part of the story than the peculiarities of the night walkers, which I believe was part of the selling point of this book. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing, it may leave some readers a, somehow, dissatisfied feeling as far as the paranormal aspect of the book is concerned.
Still, this is an enjoyable book and is worth reading.
June 13, 2019
Why Jihad? : Religious Violence in Islamic History, Theology, and Jurisprudence is an interesting and educative book about Muslims, Islam, and Jihad written by Dr. Howard Shin.
The book has fourteen very interesting chapters in addition to the Introduction, Conclusion, and Bibliography, and tries to explain the root-cause for Islam’s prevalent violence. In consistently academic tone, the author discusses the conflicting views on Jihad and elucidates the readers by explaining Jihad as defined by the Qur’an, the Hadiths, the Islamic Jurisprudence, and the pre-modern Sufism.
The author shares a brief history of the Messenger of Allah and the proliferation of Islam in Asia, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula and features the most prominent proponents of Jihad.
This is, generally, a scholarly-written book, apparently well-researched and well-referenced. In carefully worded explanation understandable to laymen and, probably, to non-Muslim readers, the author explicates the difference between Greater Jihad and Lesser Jihad and hints at the ultimate implication of armed Jihad in the future of the world making the book a ‘must-read’ for diplomats and politicians.
However, this is not an easy read. Other readers may find it too academic and, somehow, overwhelming. It requires focus, undivided attention, and genuine interest in Jihad, Islam, and the Muslims in general. Moreover, there are several noticeable errors within the entire book, mostly typo errors, which detract from the overall reading experience.
Congratulations to Dr. Howard Shin on such an interesting book! For more books by the author, click HERE.
June 9, 2019
Jealous of the Way He Treats Her: A Revenge Story is an erotic urban fiction written by Can’Di.
Jasmine is deeply in love with Derrick. After a painful break-up with her ex-boyfriend Marcus, Jasmine is determined to make her relationship with Derrick work. On his part, Derrick is just as in love with Jasmine as she is with him. However, he wants more which he can get from somewhere or someone else especially if that someone else is just around.
Jasmine’s best friend Lykeysha is more than what she is in Jasmine’s eyes. She is ambitious. She knows what she wants and she has what it takes to get it, even if what she wants belongs to someone else.
Marcus lost Jasmine because of one night of indiscretion. Now that Jasmine is with someone else, all he wants is for her to be happy. He loves her more than she knew and he is willing to be anything she needs him to be, a friend, a lover, a protector. However, there is something about his life that he could not tell her.
This is an intriguing and suspenseful book about envy, jealousy, revenge, and true love. The conflict is introduced early in the story which makes it a page-turner. Though the plot is not extraordinarily unique, the twists and turns of events make the book different from other stories with the same premise. Characters are well-developed and relatable and the readers would find it easy to connect with each of them. With her twisted way of looking at things, Lykeysha is every bit the villainess. She is despicable and, somehow, pitiful in her pathetic view of her self-importance.
Admittedly, I enjoyed this book more than I expected. It is interesting and unpredictable in that it is difficult to guess what would happen next. However, other readers, especially non-native English speakers, may find the use of the vernacular language a bit difficult to follow. Moreover, scenes of sex and violence may not be suitable for young readers.
Congratulations to Can’Di on such an enjoyable book!