November 28, 2016

Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood

Magic of Thieves is Book 1 of the Legends of Dimmingwood written by C. Greenwood.

Ilan is a survivor of the Praetor’s cleansings in the province where those possessing magic are murdered. Her parents die trying to protect her leaving her an orphan at a very young age. She finds refuge in the forest of Dimmingwood with a band of thieves led by Rideon the Red Hand where she is practically raised by Brig and the other outlaws.

There she learns to protect and defend herself and eventually becomes an official member of the band, all the while keeping her power from the group a secret.  

The book is an interesting and exciting book about thieves, which reminds me so much of the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with all the romance and novelty of living in caves, hunting for food and fighting using blades and bows. In addition to the charming setting is the set of interesting characters, my favorite of which is Brig, Ilan’s kind guardian. I, however, find Ilan not to my liking as a protagonist. I find her too stubborn with a bit of an attitude which may be attributed to her being raised by outlaws instead of loving parents. I especially like the leader, Rideon. He is smart, firm and practical.

Though I generally enjoy reading the story, I find the ending a little disappointing. I believe, however, that it is a strategy by the author to keep the readers interested. Still, I prefer it if there was at least one resolution to a conflict. As it is, this book is not as satisfactory as I hoped it would be.

Congratulations to C. Greenwood on such an interesting story. For more books by the author, visit C. GREENWOOD.    

November 21, 2016

The Black Star of Kingston by S. D. Smith

TheBlack Star of Kingston is the prequel to The Green Ember Series written by S. D. Smith.

With his subjects of displaced rabbits from the Golden Coast, King Whitson Mariner settles near the Ayman Lake in the land he calls Natalia. Soon, the small community of rabbits becomes a town the king later names Seddle. King Whitson marries Lord Grant’s daughter Lillie and has a son, Prince Lander.

Meanwhile, the son of a coal miner, Fleck, begins to miss the Golden Coast, the land they leave behind. As he looks at the ominous mountains across the lake, Fleck is compelled to find out what is in those mountains. He strongly feels that there is coal in there, coal the people badly need for the winter. With a strong conviction, Fleck seeks audience with the king to express his desire to cross the lake and find out what lies there.

This is a great, action-filled and suspenseful book not only for children but also for adults who love good adventure stories. The book is about loyalty, bravery, friendship and sacrifice. At the end of the book, I found myself getting emotional over the outcome of the battle.

The author creates admirable characters like the kind King Whitson, the brave Fleck Blackstar and his loyal friends Galt and Burnley and Gavin whose bravery is found to save a life.   

What more, the book is graced with beautiful illustrations by Zach Franzen (@ZacharyFranzen).

Congratulations to S.D. Smith (@SDSmith_) on such an amazing book! Visit S. D. Smith for more books by the same author. 

November 17, 2016

The Perseid Collapse by Steven Konkoly

The Perseid Collapse is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian EMP thriller and the first book in the series of the same title written by Steven Konkoly.

Six years after the H16N1 virus ravages the world, Alex Fletcher, his wife Kate , daughter Emily and nephew Ethan are onboard the Katelynn Ann in Maine in their traditional family bonding. First comes a flash bright enough to turn night into day, followed by a gust of wind strong enough to knock out windows, then a tsunami. Though the catastrophe is publicly attributed to an asteroid hitting Earth, all evidence indicates detonation of thermonuclear device causing a massive EMP event.

With his son Ryan far away in Boston, Alex has to find a way to get him and take the whole family to a safe place until the situation calms down. Doing that, however, is not as easy as it sounds, and it would only get worse.

The book started out as a very suspenseful read. Not only was it exciting, it was also informative. How Alex weighed his options on which was safer, easier and more beneficial to the group gave an insight on how to act on such conditions. Moreover, the book gave sound advice on what and how to prepare for calamitous events. I loved how the author made the characters work together for a common goal, to save their children and go to a safe place.

The book depicted what desperate people could do: how far they were willing to go and what they were willing to do to save themselves and their loved ones. This was a portrayal of the world in chaos, where the armed were the law and the unsuspecting and the gullible perished.

Though I enjoyed the book for the most part, I found the later chapters, with all the military talks, too technical for me and I found myself starting to lose interest in the story. The ending was also not as satisfactory as I hope it would be. Still, it was one great read.    

Congratulations to Steven Konkoly (@stevenkonkoly) on such a great book! Click HERE for more books by Steven Konkoly.

November 14, 2016

Running Home by Barbara Ellen Brink

Running Home is Book 1 of the Second Chances Series written by Barbara Ellen Brink.

When it comes to his lying and cheating husband, Ivy is past caring. All she cares about now are her two children, Caleb and Riley.  But when Todd runs away with his latest girlfriend leaving Ivy to explain his disappearance not only to their kids but also to his employer who accuses Todd of embezzling company funds, Ivy has had enough. She packs her bags and runs away from California and takes her kids all the way to her hometown in Nebraska. 

Just when Ivy thinks she is ready to start a new life with her children, shady characters start to harass her family asking for something she knows nothing about. It seems like Todd does something worse than what he lets her on. Ivy doesn’t know what to do and whom to trust. There’s Samson Sinclair, the kind realtor who seems to genuinely care about her and her children. Unbeknownst to her, however, Samson is not actually what he says he is, leaving Ivy no other option except turn to God, whom she turns her back on several years ago.    

This is a fast-paced and suspenseful story though not very original is still very enjoyable. Told in casual, thus, easy to read manner, the book is riveting and difficult to put down. Though some parts are pretty much predictable, there are portions which are admittedly surprising. Any reader can eventually conclude that this is a Christian book and the subtle message of trusting the Lord lends a sense of calm and hope to such an exciting crime novel. 

The author creates realistic characters by giving them flaws and weaknesses. Ivy’s distrust for everyone including God is common to people nursing painful experiences. Todd’s selfishness and greed put his family in peril and lead to his ultimate destruction while Samson’s unwavering faith in God makes him good in what he does.

Needless to say, I like this book a lot.

Congratulations to Barbara Ellen Brink (@BarbaraEBrink) on such an enjoyable book. For more books by the author, click HERE.  

November 9, 2016

Crossing in Time by DL Orton

Crossing in Time is the first book in the Between Two Evils Series by DL Orton.

Estranged former lovers Isabel Sanborn and Diego Nadales meet again after a long and painful separation. Catching up on lost times proves to be too difficult for Iz and she ends up walking out on him. Shortly after, Brown Palace Hotel is bombed nearly killing Iz which leads to Diego’s untimely but long overdue marriage proposal.

Unbeknownst to the couple, a metal sphere apparently not from this universe is discovered from the bomb wreckage. The sphere contains a thumb drive, a button-shape white plastic and a handwritten message addressed to Diego.

This is a beautiful and romantic science fiction that features various subjects including time travel and end of the world, among others. The story is told in a very interesting fashion that keeps me hooked from start to finish. The book is rich in vivid descriptions which include sexy and romantic scenes. The characters, especially the male and female protagonists, are well developed and relatable with all their mistakes and wrong decisions.

However, though I can honestly say that I enjoyed the book, none of my questions were answered in the end and the cliffhanger ending gave me a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. I, personally, prefer neatly wrapped up stories with all conflicts resolved, be it a single book or part of a series. Still, I do believe other readers will enjoy this book and go crazy over the love story between Iz and Diego.  

Congratulations to DL Orton (@DL_Orton) on such a great romantic science fiction! For updates on this book series, you may visit Between Two Evils. 

November 2, 2016

Unspeakable Acts by Janet Leigh Green

Unspeakable Acts is Book 1 of the Mc Queen Investigation Series by Janet Leigh Green.

Charlie Love is having trouble in her newly renovated house. It seems like a supernatural being is taking control of her and violating her body. When the situation does not get any better, she asks the help of Doug and Scott Mc Queen. Because of the nature of her predicament, the brothers ask the assistance of their psychic friend Sheila Mathers. Apparently, all of them have no idea about the enormity of what they are up against.

This is a dark and gruesome story that spans more than a century. Told in alternating chapters between the present and the past, the book features evil manifested in the most unspeakable acts like abuse, torture and, ultimately, death.

The book is easy to read with plenty of light and humorous dialogues between characters. Moreover, there is an abundance of scary scenes as well as depictions of appalling and extremely disturbing scenes of abuse. Needless to say, this book is not for the fainthearted, nor for young readers due to a multitude of references to sexual perversion.  

As far as suspense is concerned, this book is a winner. The author is able to keep the story interesting until the end by unfolding the plot little by little and chapter by chapter.

However, I prefer more developed characters. I noticed that there was not any noticeable difference between Doug and Scott, or between Charlie and Sheila. Furthermore, there were issues that were not fully explained and events that were not portrayed in details. In addition, there were too many errors, typographical and grammatical that needed editing.  

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book more than I hoped I would.

Congratulations to Janet Leigh Green (@Estherhhoward) on such a great read! For updates about this author, click HERE