November 29, 2020

Soul Augmented by Kas Smith


Soul Augmented is an interesting and thought-provoking cyberpunk and dystopian science fiction and the first in the Soul-Augmented Book Series created by Kas Smith.

Obsessed theoretical physicist Joshua Smith doesn’t realize just how much he loves his girlfriend, Savannah, until she falls into a coma following a spectacularly disastrous night. Savannah’s condition, however, is not unique. Around the world, millions of people fall into irreversible and inexplicable coma.

As Savannah lies unconsciously on her hospital bed, Joshua is racked with guilt for all the times he neglects her and chooses to spend his time and energy on his work instead of to her. Oblivious of the connection between the rise of natural disasters and the irreversible comas, Joshua vows to do everything he can to find a cure for her condition.

An unexpected visit from a representative of an extremely powerful secret society gives Joshua hope to save Savannah but he is yet to decide whether or not he is ready for the implications of his decisions.

Basically, this book has a common enough plot, a man who is so engrossed about his work that he forgets about everything else including the most important thing he has, the love of a great woman, until he lost it. What makes it exciting and interesting is the portrayal of a possible future of the planet. The rise of natural disasters, use of much, much improved and versatile mobile phone called in the book as genius control device, mode of transportation called octopede, and the ordinariness of augmented reality, everything that totally appeals to a science fiction enthusiast.

These same things, however, would deter other readers who prefer the usual and everyday things they see in their present reality. Having said that, I think it would be sensible to say that this book is great but only to a specific set of readers. May I also add that there are scientific terminologies that others would find unappealing like quantum teleportation and Higgs boson,

Being into quantum mechanics, I find this book very interesting that I plan to read the next book in the series very soon.

Congratulations to Kas Smith (@KasSmith_writer) on such a very interesting book. For more books by the author, click HERE.

October 13, 2020

As The Stars Fall: A Book for Dog Lovers by Steve N. Lee


As The Stars Fall: A Book for Dog Lovers is a heart-warming, touching, and memorable book by Steve N. Lee.

Dog is a stray animal scavenging for food. After being fatally injured, Dog lies bleeding in his moldy box when a young girl comes and rescues him. She takes him home and gives him what he wants most, a pack.

With his human best friend, Dog lives a happy, fun, and adventure-filled life. He has a pack. He has a home where he sleeps at night in his fluffy bowl assured by the sound of his human best friend’s steady breathing. He feels safe.

Just when Dog thinks life can’t get any better, things begin to change, then change again, throwing him into confusion and uncertainty.

Told in third person and in the perspective of a young dog, this is a story of survival, friendship, and love. By describing the young girl’s happiness, sadness, longing, and fear as perceived by the clueless dog, the author successfully depicts the emotions of both humans and dogs. He is also able to compare and contrast the instincts of both species by portraying their behaviors towards various situations.

Basically, this is a great book. It is something that even non-pet owners would enjoy. It is funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking.

Congratulations to Steve N. Lee (@Steve_N_Lee) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE!

September 19, 2020

How a Monster is Made by RaShell Lashbrook

How a Monster is Made is a provocative and heart-wrenching psychological thriller by RaShell Lashbrook.

Randall Carter is the only son of Pearl and Wyatt Carter. He grows up in a dysfunctional family. His father is an alcoholic who couldn’t keep a job and his mother is absent for the most part of his life. Consequently, he is detached, antisocial, and abusive. Strongly influenced by his selfish and self-entitled father, Randall has little respect for authority, and no respect for women.

Generally, this is a good book. It shows the great impact of family dynamics to the personality of an individual. It depicts the feelings of isolation, detachment, insecurity, hate, and anger of a neglected child. It portrays the effects of the lack of warmth, interaction, and support while a child is growing up.

As I was writing this review, I discovered that this book is actually a prequel. Since I have not read the other book, it would not be fair of me to say that this book’s ending is inconclusive and has too many loose ends. Having said that, I guess I could say that though this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, it is necessary to read the other book first in order to fully appreciate the story.

The plot is quite common but still interesting because it’s prevalent in real life and almost every reader is familiar with the situation and can sympathize or even relate. The descriptions are painfully vivid that the scenes can be difficult to read at times and the characters seem so alive you can almost see them in your mind. Though the ending is a cliffhanger, the readers can simply read the other book for the conclusion.

I wish I could say I enjoyed this book but that would not be entirely true. Admittedly, this is a good book. It is interesting and provocative. It is also well written. However, it is a very painful book to read. If that is the objective of the author, then, I could say she is quite successful. Needless to say, it is not for faint-hearted readers who prefer happy endings and feel-good stories. It is a serious book about abuse, pain, suffering, anger, and hate.

Congratulations to RaShell Lashbrook (@PoppyJuiceBlog) on such a good book. For more books by the author, click HERE.   

August 13, 2020

Death Donor by Matt Ward

Death Donor is an exciting and suspenseful dystopian, techno-thriller written by Matt Ward.

At a time when the rich can opt to live for as long as they want and the poor sell their organs to feed their family, Samantha Jones, Special Forces veteran, is lucky to be employed as bodyguard by biotech billionaire Ethan Anderson. Anderson is the founder of Defying Death Industries whose vision is to rid the world of death and suffering by harvesting healthy organs from poverty-stricken citizens, who fall in line to sell body parts in order to survive, to improve the health and prolong the lives of wealthy individuals.

Fortunately for Sam, her job with Ethan allows her and her family to live a life that does not require selling vital organs. One night, however, Sam’s daughter is abducted and her body parts are sold. Her husband kills himself shortly after. Shaken by the immeasurable pain of her loss, Sam vows to take them down, all of them, the elites who play god.   

This is a heart-wrenching and thought-provoking story that questions the readers’ own moral values. It highlights the distinction between the lives of the rich and the poor and raises a very important question whether it is justifiable to exact revenge on oblivious individuals just because they are part of a biased system that favors the wealthy. The readers would find themselves rooting for Sam as she hunts down her perceived enemies while asking themselves if she is doing the right thing after all.

In addition to the very interesting plot is the set of well-developed characters. There is Ethan Anderson, the genius who doesn’t understand why other people would choose death when they have an option to live forever. Then, there is Sam who a lot of readers may sympathize with, and finally there is Sen. Schmidt who, I think is the most likable and relatable of all. Though I find some scenes a little too smooth for thriller, I enjoyed them nonetheless and though the ending is less conclusive than I hoped, it’s quite satisfactory.

Congratulations to Matt Ward (@mattwardwrites) on such an enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.    

June 27, 2020

Wild-Born by Adrian Howell

Wild Born is a suspenseful, young adult, paranormal, thriller and the first book in the Psionic Pentalogy created by Adrian Howell.

When an accident renders twelve-year old Adrian immobile, he begins to develop telekinetic ability, that he has long suspected he has but not proven until now. Shortly after, however, his home is attacked and he finds himself separated from his sister, Cat.

He soon learns that he is a psionic, a human with special ability, and that there are more like him. After the catastrophic night that changed his seemingly normal life, Adrian ends up a fugitive depending heavily on his wit and undeveloped ability for survival and hunted by paranormal factions, each intent on having him on its side.

This is an exciting and suspenseful paranormal thriller that easily calls X-Men to mind. It portrays various human traits, emotions, and behaviors such as compassion, kindness, and unconditional love. It also depicts bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination. It shows that family is not limited to blood relations but those who are with you when you need them the most.

Scenes are carefully described in detail including chasing and fighting scenes. Characters are well-developed and accurately depicted like benevolent Cindy, naïve Adrian, and unpleasant Dr. Denman. Though the ending is less conclusive than my usual taste, it is understandably so.

Congratulations to Adrian Howell on such an exciting and enjoyable book. Some scenes, however, may be too violent for very young readers. For more books by this author, click HERE.

June 11, 2020

Derailed by Mary Keliioka

Derailed is an interesting and suspenseful thriller novel, and the first in the Kelly Pruett Mystery Book Series created by Mary Keliioka.

Private Investigator Kelly Pruett feels elated and apprehensive at the same time. She just meets the client that gives her her very first real private investigating job since she inherited the detective agency from her father. Though the idea is quite exciting and, somehow, heightens her level of empowerment, at the back of her mind, she isn’t altogether confident that she can actually do the job. However, her father’s dying request makes the decision for her.

As per her client’s request, Kelly needs to get to the bottom of a case viewed by the police as an unfortunate drunken accident. To find out whether the victim was struck by the train due to her inebriation or she was murdered, Kelly sets up a meeting with the sole witness at the bar where the victim was last seen alive. Sadly for Kelly, however, the witness does not show up.

This is a suspenseful thriller novel mixed with domestic issues, women empowerment, and a little bit of romance. Just like other books of this genre, the author develops the plot by presenting an insignificant amount of clues as far as the case is concerned, but with the protagonist’s unwavering determination and unbelievable level of tenacity, possible suspects and possible motives begin to surface. The author successfully keeps the suspense by introducing shocking twists and unexpected turns of events that culminated in a satisfying climax.

The characters are well-developed and are very relatable especially Kelly. In this day and age when more and more women are beginning to discover their self-worth, I can imagine a lot of female readers who can actually empathize with the main character. Scenes and settings are depicted vividly as well as the behaviors and emotions of each character.

All in all, this is a great thriller novel and I recommend it to fans of this genre.

Congratulations to Mary Keliioka  (@mary_keliikoa) on such a great and enjoyable book. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. For more information about this author, click HERE     

June 5, 2020

Everyone Needs a Hero: Why Can't It Be You by Aimé Mukendi, Jr.

Everyone Needs a Hero: Why Can’t It Be You? is an inspiring and an encouraging book written by Aimé Mukendi, Jr.

This book is about the extraordinary transformation of the author from someone who is in love with his own ego to the person that he is today, a motivational speaker, life coach, social media influencer, entrepreneur, radio show host, blogger, and book author.

The author begins by narrating a life-altering event that happened to him a year ago. The event marks the death of something in him and the birth of something else. It is followed by a short story of his early life with apparent emphasis on the role of his hero, his mother.

The rest of the book, essentially, encourages the readers to find their purpose in life and offers suggestions on how to do it. Aside from his personal experiences, the author shares other lessons he learned in his own journey through life including Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues and Earl Nightingale’s spoken word record, The Strangest Secret. The book also features quotes by Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein, and quotes by the author himself.

All in all, this is an encouraging and inspiring book. In this age and time when people find it easier to conform and people live to compete with others, it is a book that may help readers to focus on self-examination, and, consequently, self-improvement.

I find it perfect for young adults. Millennials who know LeBron James, Kanye West, Will Smith, and Kevin Hart would probably relate to the author and some of the things he went through while growing up.

However, those who have already read books by Napoleon Hill, Rhonda Byrne, Og Mandino, etc. may not find anything new from this book.

Nevertheless, I find this book very encouraging and the author seems to be very promising. Congratulations to Aimé Mukendi, Jr. (@SirAimezing) on such a well-written book. To learn more about the author, click HERE!   

June 1, 2020

The Reflecting Pool by Otho Eskin

The Reflecting Pool is an exciting and suspenseful crime and thriller novel written by Otho Eskin.

Homicide Detective Marko Zorn, of Washington DC Metropolitan Police, knows that the body of a Secret Service agent found in the Reflecting Pool is not a typical drowning victim. For reason, unfathomable even to himself, Zorn knows the victim is murdered.

Fueled by his desire for justice and his inherent disregard for rules and protocols, Zorn proceeds with his investigation. Curiously, his effort to get to the bottom of the case is met with discouragement, lack of cooperation, and even hostility from the departments he believes should, at the very least, show more keenness in catching the perpetrator.    

This is a suspenseful thriller that features a multitude of subjects including organized crime, domestic terrorist group, long-buried crime, and secret liaisons. The author is able to keep the plot interesting and suspenseful by throwing in seemingly unrelated scenes and putting them together in one explosive climax and a satisfying denouement. 

Moreover, the author is able to successfully describe, in detail, not only the scenes, ie police interviews, confrontations, chasing, and fighting; but also the behavior and personality of each character. Unlike other authors who use descriptive words to portray characters, Otho Eskin depicts people through their attitudes and manners of speaking. Finally, though Detective Mark Zorn is not my idea of an ideal protagonist, with his vanity, materialism, and moral code, I would say I have seen worse. And though it’s difficult to see past his character, I think that is what makes him, somehow, realistic and relatable.

Congratulations to Otho Eskin (@OthoEskin) on such an enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.         

May 24, 2020

The Roots Have Dug into My Heart by Peter Fugazzotto

The Roots Have Dug into My Heart is a touching horror and paranormal novella written by Peter Fugazzotto.  

After a disastrous evening at a bar that ends in a creepy auditory hallucination seemingly coming from the tall marsh grasses, Jessie wakes up with a terrible hangover made worse by the fact that her daughter, Maya, is missing. Racked by guilt about her inability to watch over Maya, Jessie goes through the marsh in search of her daughter vowing to never neglect her again. Naturally, she is overjoyed when Maya is found, seemingly, shaken but relatively unharmed.

However, Jessie’s elation is short-lived as she senses something different with her daughter.  Aside from the smell of the swamp that Jessie can’t seem to wash off Maya, her daughter becomes uncharacteristically quiet. Maya also seems to lose her appetite even for foods she normally loves.

Amidst her desperate need to be a better person and the best mother she can be, and the suspicion that there is something terribly wrong Maya, Jessie finds an unlikely ally. Armed only with very little information and unconditional love for her daughter, Jessie and her friend set out for the marsh to find out the truth once and for all.

This is a scary, suspenseful, and touching story about a bum of a woman who struggles to be the best version of herself. It depicts how someone overcomes her self-destructive tendencies for the most important person in her life. It portrays clarity in the middle of confusion and courage in the middle of fear. It displays the amount of determination needed to win the prize of redemption.

Though the story appears to be simply about an irresponsible mother who lost her child to paranormal entity, there is so much more than that. It tells of the difficulty of a person to rise above adversity with her only beacon of hope snatched away from her. It also shows the tendency to prejudge someone by the way he or she lives. Most importantly, the book features the multidimensionality of the world we live in and that things are not the way they seem.

This is a relatively enjoyable book. Relatively in that, some readers who are not into horror stories may not choose to read it. I, myself, am not a horror book enthusiast. As a reviewer, however, I find the book well written and easy to read. Jessie is very well depicted as a person who blames everything and everybody else for her unpleasant situation making her very relatable. Moreover, the author is able to maintain an eerie mood right from the beginning down to the last page. Finally, though I prefer a different ending to the story, I find the conclusion quite satisfactory.

Congratulations to Peter Fugazzotto (@PeterFugazzotto) on such a well-written book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

May 20, 2020

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria by J.M. Bergen

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria is a fantastical, an action-filled, an adventure-filled, and a magic-filled, young adult fiction, and the second book in The Elandrian Chronicles created by J.M. Bergen.

It’s summer vacation and Thomas Wildus and his friends Enrique and Akhil are doing what normal and ordinary boys do during vacation, having fun and hanging out, with girls. However, a mysterious message, a glimpse of a familiar, albeit frightening, face, and a visit from his mentors cut the summer fun short. Now, Thomas and his friends are back to the training room and preparing for a quest for a magical object and a confrontation with the ‘Sumerian’.

As magical as, as suspenseful as, and, probably, even more action-filled than the first book, this second installment introduces more characters both good and evil and presents more rigorous training, both physical and mental, for Thomas and Enrique. The author also offers surprising twists and unexpected turns of events that make the book even more interesting. Fighting and chasing scenes are depicted in vivid and minute detail and the conclusion is quite satisfying. However, I find some of the descriptions too gory and too violent for young readers.

Still, I enjoyed this book a lot and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Congratulations to J.M. Bergen (@JMBergen1) on such a great and enjoyable second installment. For more books by the author, click HERE.

May 15, 2020

Madam Tulip and the Serpent's Tree by David Ahern

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree is the fourth in the Madam Tulip Mystery Book Series created by David Ahern.

With the help of her now relatively-famous best friend, Bella, Irish American actress Derry O’Donnell dons her Madam Tulip persona as part of the grand birthday celebration of a famous pop singer. Up in the Dublin mountains, Derry finds herself amidst the members of a musical band, each with his or her own preoccupation. A pushy manager intent on keeping the band together, a high-strung singer visibly upset by the sudden disappearance of a beloved and revered friend, an anxious songwriter keeping something from fellow band members, and a charming sax player fascinated by Vikings.        

Ever professional and discreet, Madam Tulip is privy to information pertinent to the future of the entire band, information that may explain the whereabouts of a missing shaman.

As exciting and as funny as the previous three books, Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree features the private lives of famous and very promising musicians. It depicts their lives behind the glitter and adoring fans, their pain, their fears, their insecurities. But most importantly, for me, the book portrays the humans inside the celebrities, their longing for love, belongingness, and acceptance.

The book is, as all the other books I have read by David Ahern, funny and lighthearted. It is, first and foremost, an easy read. It is exciting and suspenseful, with carefully and vividly described scenes. In addition to Derry, Bruce, Bella, Jacko and Vanessa, the author includes a variety of characters that the readers would easily relate with. Though the ending is not as conclusive as I wish, it is no doubt satisfying.

Congratulations to David Ahern (@DaveAhernWriter) on another enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.  

February 29, 2020

A World Beyond by Marc Remus

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.

Congratulations to Marc Remus (@MarcRemusArt) on such a great book! Though it would, undoubtedly, be enjoyed by young and old children alike, some scenes may be too horrid for very young children. For more books by the author, click HERE.             

January 15, 2020

Order of Seven by Beth Teliho

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.