The Ghost in the Closet

Posted January 29, 2015

Review of sample in progress.

Some say the ability of seeing ghosts is a gift, but after losing her job, Dumdie Swartz says, “Hogwash”. Since she was a child, Dumdie has seen ghosts and has developed several quirks to cover the fact so she wouldn’t need to explain herself or be exploited. When her boss witnesses several of these occasions, he fires her, thinking that she suffers from a mental issue that could be a liability to his business. Without a job and money, Dumdie becomes just another old, homeless woman living out of her car. As winter approaches, her luck changes, and she secures a private room in a homeless shelter, but it isn’t as private as she thinks. The ghost of the former owner of shelter haunts the room where she died, searching for the misplaced will that guarantees the shelter would continue to exist as she so desired. Dumdie must make a decision. Does she continue to hide her gift in fear of upsetting people or appearing insane? Does she go out on a limb and try to save the shelter, the room they have given her, and herself in the process.[goodreviews isbn=”B00K1S9SMM”]


Mystic Valley

Posted January 22, 2015

[goodreviews isbn=”1502848392″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Tome Tender (Book Blog)

Posted January 18, 2015

Tome Tender book blogTome Tender book blog features books is several genres – Paranormal romance, historical romance,  contemporary romance, urban fantasy, romantic suspense, young adult, steampunk, fantasy, and paranormal fiction. Requests for reviews are available, and the guidelines for these are very clear and precise.

With a good number of followers, this networked blog features include author interviews, giveaways, covers and book related thoughts. The reviews are concise, and in addition to detailing basic information about the book, such as genre, page length and a brief synopsis,  the author’s review provides thoughts from the viewpoint of a reader.

Tome Tender book blog share their reviews on Facebook, Twitter, TumblrGoogle plus, and of course their blog.
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The Firelord’s Crown

Posted January 18, 2015

[goodreviews isbn=” B00ERVQ0FW” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Royally Screwed

Posted January 16, 2015

[goodreviews isbn = “B00O4N58P6″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Gaspar The Thief

Posted January 16, 2015

[goodreviews isbn=”B007T9I7I2″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Emperors of Time by J.W.Penn

Posted January 6, 2015

;Tim is a shy history nerd, Julie is popular and smart, Billy is athletic and confident, and Rose is clever and quirky. But what none of them understand is why Steven Hopkins, a Time Traveler from the 24th century, has chosen them to take on the Emperors of Time. The four teens must travel back to 1916 San Francisco to stop the past from being changed. If they fail, the self-proclaimed Emperors of Time will control the future. Their adventure takes them from a bridge over the Susquehanna River in the days before the Battle of Gettysburg to a settlement of outcasts from the Emperors’ futuristic paradise and from the seediest to the swankiest parts of 1916 San Francisco.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00N2Y2Y1E” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Death’s Keep by Sommer Nectarhoff

Posted January 5, 2015


My thoughts on Death’s Keep…

It was the book’s title and blurb that attracted me to Death’s Keep, and upon turning to the first page I wasn’t disappointed. There is a very brief prologue, which I didn’t feel aided the story in any way, but the first chapter did a great job of hauling me into the story.

Death’s Keep is quick to orientate the reader with Kartos, the regulations the residents live by and the hardship experienced. As early as page one, scene descriptions and character introductions introduce the reader to Lokk, engaging in what he does best. Everything is told from the protagonist’s perspective, guiding the reader into the story at a steady pace. The telling of backstory is subtle, and at no time did I feel overwhelmed with information, despite there being a variety of people and places. Each paragraph moves the story forward, and there is a good balance of action, internal thoughts and descriptions.

Lokk is a likable and well developed character, a feeling I found strengthened as the story progressed. Without giving any of the story away, I did find some of the scenes quite vivid (I missed the ‘horror‘ part when grabbing the sample). It is a dark story, and a very good read, with an ample supply of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

The writing is of a high standard and has been very well edited. The narrative voice entices the reader to engage with the story. The level of foreshadowing in Death’s Keep is very good and I able to work out where the story was going just prior to it being revealed. [spoiler]There was one sudden surprise the reader wasn’t prepared for, but it didn’t spoil the book as a whole.[/spoiler]

Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable read. I read beyond the sample length and fully intend to buy the second book – Sons of Stone

[goodreviews isbn=”B00OGTDRNI”]


Iron City Rebels by John Donlan

Posted January 5, 2015

The Iron City is the industrial city at the heart of an empire ruled by the wealthy and the politically powerful. An urban dystopia where the poor and the disenfranchised are used for cheap labour.The rich elite plot and scheme amongst themselves, while one of their number plans something terrible, and aims to use the rebel faction of idealistic freedom fighters known as the Fist of Truth as a pawn in his scheme. Meanwhile, a young man inadvertently steals an item which may bring those plans tumbling down. In the run-down slums of the Skein, one woman will lead the Fist in a daring plan to rescue their leader, and in so doing, set up a confrontation which will have long lasting implications for the entire city.


My Thoughts

Iron City Rebels was my first forage into the genre of Steam Punk, which (according to Mr. Google), has a Victorian England ‘feel’ to it, and has an emphasis on steam as the main source of power.

This book certainly en-captured both of these elements. The first chapter is very ‘Victorian,’ as a couple of tea-leaves (thieves) are in the process of breaking into a house. The inequality between the rich and the poor is established clear early on, as is the Steam Punk element, and the reader is introduced to the ‘world’ of the Iron City Rebels at a steady pace.

I have to say, I was totally engaged with this book from the first page. It was a fascinating introduction into a genre I’d only heard about before now. I was a little confused with a certain ‘gadget’, but  Donlan is quick to dispel this confusion as further information about its workings are revealed in later chapters (and it is a rather a remarkable gadget, I might mention).

The editing is of a very high standard. There were a few typos here and there, (I stress the few), but certainly nothing to jar you from the story.

In my opinion, Iron City Rebels is an excellent debut novel, well worth a read, and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00N7OR0MW” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Soul Conductor

Posted December 11, 2014

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows C.S.Evans that the Soul Conductor is placed in a medieval setting – except it’s not your every day, run-of-the-mill sort of medieval. From the very first page the reader becomes embroiled in the lives of the Soul Conductors; a peaceful community of people who are born with the sole purpose of guiding souls to their final destination.

‘Quinn is one such being. He is a Soul Conductor. And he’s one of the best…

He’s also a very decent sort of guy. He’s loyal to his friends and family, devoted to his work as a Conductor, and has a strong desire to see justice done.

‘So, what happens when it suddenly goes disastrously wrong?

What happens is that you get a marvellous story, entwining the livelihood and traditions of the medieval era with a dash of the fantastical and supernatural. It is the age old battle between good and evil, but there is so much more at stake than just the mere preservation of life.

‘Quinn must rely on the loyalty and strength of friends, new and old, if he is to discover what really happened to him and prevent innocent lives from being lost – along with their souls’

 ***

Evans’ debut novel was an absolute pleasure to read. I was hired as a beta-reader for The Soul Conductor (a sort of pre-reader), and charged with the task of checking the manuscript for potential structure, plot, continuity and characterisation issues. The only problem with this book however, was that I kept being drawn into the story. After resisting the lure of Evans words in the first couple of chapters, I gave up trying to make notes and read it in its entirety.

During my initial read (at least until I succumbed to the story) I notated my reaction to the events of the first two chapters – my joy, my horror, my elation – which I provided to Evans, and everything I experienced was as she intended. In my opinion, Evans has a real skill in capturing the essence of a ‘moment’ and translating it into words.

I read The Soul Conductor twice in the end – firstly to enjoy the reading experience it offered, and secondly to provide my comments on potential areas for development (although they were few and far between). Evans was quick to orientate this reader into the story. There is a good balance of narration and dialogue, with naturalistic interaction between the characters. If the fantasy/supernatural genre is of interest to you as a reader, then I am confident you will not be disappointed with Evans first offerings as an author.

 


Dystopia

Posted December 11, 2014

There are elements of 1984 in here, and earlier chapters reminded me a little of the City of Ember, but I persevered and was able to engage with events a little easier after Dana’s arrival at the Waste Management Plant. Her character begins to develop a little as she finds her way around this prison camp styled facility, making both friends and enemies, but a lot of the secondary characters did seem a little flat.

There are a few issues with the plot in this book, minor details that could be fixed by developing the characters a bit more. Overall though, I really enjoyed Dystopia, although I believe it is better suited to younger readers in the young adult age group. It was a quick read, but there were a lot of interesting dilemma’s for the young protagonist to work her way through. I would certainly be interested in reading more from this author.


Death’s Keep

Posted December 11, 2014


The Book of Lokk: Death’s Keep tells the story of a young thief. Lokk lives in Kartos, a bustling city that lies beneath the shadow of the Dark Temple. The priests rarely pass beyond its high walls, and when they do, it is only to collect the dead and escort the condemned to the dungeons. It is a cruel, harsh life, and Lokk somehow manages to survive from day to day, but he is about to ‘enter a world where evil knows no bounds…’

It was the book’s description that attracted me to The Book of Lokk: Death’s Keep and I wasn’t disappointed. It begins with a very short prologue, which I didn’t feel aided me in any way. The story would begin just as well without it – the first chapter is where this story begins.

The reader is orientated with the story as early as page one, with scene descriptions and character introductions taking place as Lokk does what Lokk does best. Everything is told from the protagonist’s perspective, guiding the reader into the story at a steady pace, without overwhelming them with a stream of unusual names of people and places. Every paragraph moves the story forward with a good balance of action, internal thoughts and descriptions.

I found Lokk to be a very likable and well-developed character, a feeling that strengthened as the story progressed. Without giving any of the story away, I did find some of the scenes quite vivid (I must have missed the ‘horror‘ part of the genre listing). It is a dark story, and it is a very good read. There is an ample supply of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

The writing is of a high standard and has been very well edited. The narrative voice entices the reader to engage with the story. The level of foreshadowing is very good and I able to work out where the story was going just prior to it being revealed. There was one sudden surprise that I don’t believe was foreshadowed, but it didn’t spoil the book as a whole.

Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable read, and fully intend to buy the second book: The Book of Lokk: Sons of Stone: 2