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JULIA W. ★★★★

Posted 11/23/20

 

This was a good start to a promising series. I dig the idea of these humanoid insect species and their mysterious kingdoms. For some reason I imagined them being the size of actual insects but I don't know if that was the intention :-) I really liked the main character who is a strong woman who doesn't back away from a fight. The story ends on kind of a cliffhanger and I would love to see how it continues. So if there will be another installment, I would love to read it.

DEBBIE G. ★★★★★

Posted 11/23/20

I thought this was an exceptional book. It is an exciting and fun read. Even though the beginning of the book had parts that I thought tended to drag along some, I could not give this book less than five stars. You soon learn that every incident reflects something that will take place later in the book. The characters are definitely quite the individuals, each with a unique personality. The little town had a lot going on and the humor throughout the story had me laughing out loud. Would I read more books by this author? Yes, I look forward to it. Do I recommend this wonderful story and this author? Absolutely, without hesitation.
I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and this is an honest review.

TAMARA D. ★★★★

 Posted 11/25/20

 

This is quite a moving story. The characters are well thought out, very well described and easy to connect with. The hardships that each of the main characters face bring a tear to the eye, and make your heart break for them. The sexual innuendo and tension between the main characters is well described. This book is one that is easy to lose yourself in for a few hours.

RHONDA D. ★★★★★

Posted 11/25/20

 

Caveman Humans, with intelligence and being the hunted of alien invaders. This is a good paced story. The only thing that took away from it is that it ends in a cliffhanger. Me and cliffhangers are such frenemies. Definitely look forward to more in the Decoy saga.

DONNA S. ★★★★★

Posted 11/30/20

 

Maldene by Mark Anthony Tierno is a masterful piece of storytelling. The world building is exceptional (descriptions bring the world to life in your minds eye) and the character development is excellent. This is an adventure that is thrilling, will keep you glued to the pages. and one not to be missed. ( Reviewed on Amazon, Goodreads & Bookbub)

JACK K. ★★★

Posted 11/30/20

 

To be honest, this is one weird story. To attempt to categorize it, it is dystopian science fiction with a healthy side-serving of horror. There is a good deal of parody in here as well.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital ARC for this novel. However, both the decision to post a review and the contents of the review are voluntary and my own alone.

What I liked about this story?

The parody and cynicism around organizations. For example, in the letter describing Hajogana’s promotion to Deputy Governor, his qualifications are listed as: “Of all the candidates that the Supreme Board provided for me, you are the only one who is not: a raving p’wunari addict … an obsessed dancer … an easily-distracted astronomer … a marauding motorcyclist … a drooler … a shoe-licker … a speaker who pretends to be eloquent … a pyromaniac fire mutant … etc.” You’ve got to give the author credit for THAT imaginative list! The book had several more examples of obvious parody (as well as some places where I wasn’t sure if the author intended parody or not … but created it anyway).

Bonjakon. There is a sub-story that starts about ¾ of the way through the book and features a young boy (Bonjakon) who will potentially inherit the governership from the evil and sadistic Vannikon. In a lot of ways the sub-story around Bonjakon is the best part of the book, being vaguely reminiscent of such classics as T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King.” There are a couple of nice scenes in the Bonjakon story (which includes everything from killer spores to shapeshifters, by the way), and one of my favorites was around the nightmares. Basically, Bonjakon is plagued by nightmares (many of which have rational foundations in this nightmarish alternate world). Hajogana first asks him to draw the monsters in his nightmares. Then he motivates the young boy into drawing his response to the monsters. Later on, the boy successfully conquers his nightmares by evoking the drawn responses to overcome the dream monsters.

The world-building around various failed aspects of society, which intertwines general descriptions of decay against a continually changing background of strange and unusual aliens. “Eight ladies were foul-mouthed Nandegakkovians who smoke and drank away”, “the bearded one of the two cyclopes spat and threw a ball of paper at his head”, “the clones later damaged the armored nobles suits, releasing poisonous fumes that suffocated them and the last survivors”, “Her drool seared unto her sister’s hand, stinging it and forcing her to release the Vice-Governor”, and so on. The author is unusually imaginative about his creation of aliens, and also unusually imaginative about interlacing these aliens with descriptions of a failed society.

What did I have issues with in this story? A couple of things.

The plot is incredibly chaotic. First Hajogana is a pilot, then he is selling appliances at a water park, then he gets tortured for dropping some tiles. After an amazing healing session, there is this odd sidebar with a dance with mecha imitating earth wights (these turned out to robots), which then develops into a strange battle with fireworks. Another mortal injury, another amazing healing session. At this point he gets promoted to Deputy Governor. Huh? Then we have this odd scene in the train where all the pink subservient clones get turned into demons by a rock band. So do the grey clones, by the way. Note that sometime later in the book, Hajogana (as the Vice Governor) would attempt to rescue this same rock band. This was so counter-intuitive I went back and checked. Yes, it was the same band. Why are we rescuing a band that turns clones into monsters, we ask? No clue. It goes on like this, by the way. Every once in a while you read a book where (once you have finished) you have to go back and read the Amazon synopsis of the book to figure out the plot of what you just read – and this book falls into this category.

There is not much character development. Yes, the book IS significantly devoted to world-building, but the downside of this is that the Hajogana character just bounces from one Scary Bad Situation involving lots of alien blood and guts to another Scary Bad Situation involving lots of alien blood and guts. While Hajogana periodically makes some speeches about fixing society’s issues and developing a properly running economy, it was unclear to me whether this was character development – or political parody. (I’m leaning toward the second.)

STEPHANIE C. ★★★★★

Posted 12/03/20

 

Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes is book one of the Intricate series. All of the elements of suspense, romance, danger, and deception are effortlessly detailed in the story. The book opens with the abduction Gaia. When she awakens after having been drugged she finds herself in a dark cell with a small child. She befriends Emily and vows that she would get both of them out together. Emily gives her a charm bracelet and says "That way you can remember me if we get seperated." One day two men come for Emily. Despite Gaia's efforts to stop the men, Emily is taken away from the cell. Later that day Gaia is taken to Barry's office. She quickly learns he was the head of human trafficking. She has been sold. She attenpts to free herself but one of her captor's thugs beats her until her "buyer" appears and intervenes. Gaia passes out. When Gaia awakens she is in an extravagant palace. Prince Raoul had saved her. Due to amnesia, Gaia learns that she was actually a princess and he is hiding her from people wishing to cause her harm. Gaia pleads to Raoul to find Emily but finds out that he had no intentions of helping her. As the story progresses, a colorful cast of characters are introduced into the story. Gaia is swept away by a pirate that actually takes her back home to her parents. She begins to have flashbacks of memories and discovers she is engaged to Salim. Who is Salim? How did Gaia get abducted to begin with? Why does the pirate captain wish to help Gaia? What happened to Emily? The only way to answer these questions is to read this amazing book. The ending sets the book up to have the sequel seamlessly pick up and thicken the plot. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys a page turning, action filled suspense novel. This is for mature readers as there are themes involving rape, death, drugs, and some profanity involved.

JEAN-CHARLES G. ★★★

kaye. ★★★★★

Posted 12/09/20

Screeching skiddles! Jeffrey hit the motherload with this tantalizing rollercoaster, laying out some deadly facts, cruel lessons and ruthless pursuits, hooking you from the start to the end, hurling this jewel to a whole new level. Toss in the riveting drama, gripping intrigue, brutal tactics, vicious deeds, perilous encounters, escalating danger electrifying suspense and nailbiting decisions ensue in epic proportions, testing our characters in ways they could have never anticipated, merging this bad boy together seamlessly. Attributes and mannerisms in layer upon layer that you peel back with each page your drawn into this tangled web so intricately and precise till nothing else exists, broken barriers and obscured perimeters solidify as limitations are amplified and tested, secrets confessed, revelations unmasked and promises made, blasting this bad boy into the eye of the hurricane, blowing it into a frenzy with life altering results. The characters are complex, genuine and realistic with traits and qualities that balance and blend, with amazing depth and diversity and enough spice to add an extra kick to the mix. Throw in 100% on point realism, raising the stakes with such graphic scenarios that are so colorfully descriptive and vividly detailed its like you're living it with them instead of on the sidelines, feeling everything the characters feel. Incredible job Jeffrey, thanks for sharing this little treasure with us.

I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story.

MOSETTA M. ★★★★

Posted 12/09/20

Russian Roulette by May Freighter is the first in her Helena Hawthorne series. It is an interesting urban fantasy and vampire story with some unusual twist and turns. It held my interest once I took off my editor’s hat and worked past the preponderance of “ly” adverbs and “to be” verbs. Helena is a nineteen year old college student who leaves home for her first apartment and almost immediately finds herself bound to a vampire named Lucious because she failed to follow the rules set out by her Guardian Angel. The beginning of the story required me to re-read to try and find out why she had magic in her life. There are multiple hints but no definitive answer until later. This held my interest. The title of the book refers to a club by the same name owned by Lucious’ good friend, Alexander. As a great fan of vampire, mythology, and magical stories, I found it to be a fun read.

TAMARA D. ★★★

Posted 12/10/20

 

I was given this book by the author for an honest review. Here goes:

I enjoy the characters, even if they are a bit far fetched. This is paranormal romance after all, the characters need to be gorgeous and sexy and strong. Esmore is a strong, beautiful, fierce leading character. Chase is a funny, easy to love leading male character.

The setting could be elaborated on a bit more, so that the reader could understand the desolate world the author is trying to create for us.

The writing leaves more editing to be done. Its like this is the first draft and no one thought to read through it before sending it to be published. There are many holes in this story that would make it more real and easier to picture if they were filled for us.

All in all, although I would have a heyday with a red marker, I enjoyed the book.

DEBBIE O. ★★★★★

Posted 12/21/20

 

Arbin Adean is a somewhat hapless young man with a Talent known as Fade. It's a talent that's considered dangerous, even evil, and individuals with this talent are hunted down by the people who have a talent as a Seer. This enables them to locate a person that can Fade. Unusually, Arbin has inherited both talents.


Arbin's mother, before she died, warned Arbin to be wary of using his Fade talent, insisting that it would get him into trouble. Arbin's father eventually tells Arbin to leave, saying that Arbin's talent is a curse. Shortly thereafter, Arbin meets Jayden, another Fade, and his twin sister Mia, who is a Seer. Arbin learns more about his talents in the three years he spends with them. When Arbin gets into trouble at work he decides to leave the twins and the area they are living in. This greatly angers Jayden, who has other plans. However, Arbin does not want the twins to be in danger if the law decides to go looking for him.


Arbin manages to make a life for himself in a small, out of the way town, and stays "under the radar" of the authorities. One day both Jayden and the authorities turn up in Arbin's town. That evening, Arbin ends up in a scuffle with Jayden, whom the authorities are busy chasing. But it's Arbin who gets apprehended as Jayden flees. What follows is a tangled web of mayhap and mayhem, as Arbin tries to hide his talent as a Fade, keep track of Jayden's movements in the area, stay unnoticed as an important member of the government is murdered (Arbin is a witness) and trying to come up with a viable plan of escape. In the middle of this, it's discovered that Arbin has a talent as a Seer. Escape becomes unlikely as he is even more closely guarded as Talent authorities try to determine his usefulness as a Seer in protecting society from the Fades. Unfortunately his Seer talent may make him a problem for highly placed government officials with secret plans of their own. In spite of Arbin's underlying intelligence and occasional ingenuity, his general naivety and tendency to say what he's thinking out loud gets him into difficult situations with disconcerting regularity.
I was glad there was a very little detailed descriptions of extreme violence. It's rarely needed for a good story.

CATHERINE E. ★★★★★

Posted 12/21/20

 

To me this was a quick read and it was hard to put down. I loved this little love story between a servant and a guard for a palace. I would love to read this series. I cannot wait to read the first book of the series. It's wonderful written book.

SUSANA ★★★

Posted 12/21/20  

Short story with some fantasy and adventures wrapped up in mythology!.. :-)


Easy reading, fast-paced, the book tells the story of Zaztice and how her life starts to change, thanks to the goddess Themis and a small statuette offered by her best friend.


I enjoyed reading it, although I would have liked the story and the characters to be a bit more complex.


It seems a nice introduction to the Powers Rising series that it's coming up...


Looking forward to read other books from this author.

I've received this book as a reviewer on Vibe Book Reviews, in exchange for an honest review.

STEPHANIE C. ★★★★★

Posted 12/24/20

 

Bitterburn by Ann Aguire may sound similar to Beauty and the Beast to start off, but the story is so much more. Amarrah chooses to go to the castle where the tiny town of Bitterburn has taken provisions every year until a neverending winter starts to claim lives. When Amarrah loses the love of her life to starvation and fever she feels hopeless. Her stepmother and father send her off and proclaim she is just one less mouth to feed.

 

Once Amarrah is inside the castle, she discovers she is not alone. A mystery being visits her every night, staying in the shadows so that she cannot see him. Njal claims that he is cursed to staying in the castle forever.

 

Over time Amarrah and Njal form a bond of friendship until Njal finally reveals himself. Having been somehow transformed into a monster, Amarrah looks past his physical appearance. She begins to dabble in magic and soon looks into freeing Njal from being stuck in Bitterburn. Can she break the dark magic that binds Njal? If she does will he die with it? Find the answers in this beautifully crafted novel.

SCAROLETT E. ★★★★★

Posted 12/27/20

The Hawthorne Witch (The Hawthorne University Witch Series Book 3) by A.L. Hawke is an amazing story that I have read. This is book number three that I have loved reading. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves reading about witchcraft and paranormal romance.

I read a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of this book & am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review.

SHANNON M. ★★★★

Posted 1/02/21

 

I thought the story was well thought out and from the first chapter, I was hooked. I had a bit of trouble with the relative age of the main character, Arbin, as I felt that his actions, emotions, and dialogue were at times more juvenile than his actual age. I loved the Talents and how they were used, along with the tie-in to the culture and history of the nation. I enjoyed learning along with Arbin about his past, the Talents, and the truth about the people in his life.

 

The ending was satisfying and tired up most of Arbin's problems nicely. The author did a fantastic job explaining how his world worked and the challenges Arbin faced were very realistic due to his transient and hidden nature.

 

I feel the book could use some editing and trimming down. Some of the descriptions were drawn out and were so detailed that words became repetitive. I also feel the dialogue could have flowed better by removing a lot of the "whoever said" and letting the context of the dialogue and paragraph changes indicate who is speaking instead. Overall, I found this to be a well-crafted story and look forward to more from this author.

MICHELLE C. ★★★★

Posted 1/02/21

I was really excited to read this book at first. But as I got into it I was a little disappointed. The book is a good book, a little slow at first but then it got good. But my main problem with this book is that it is to short and it felt a bit rushed. I really wanted for the author to explain it out to draw me in. This could have been a amazing story but it is still a good read.

JACK K. ★★★★★

Posted 1/02/21

This is an enjoyable read for young adults, written in what might be called a “classic” science fiction style. It is a reincarnation story, and while some of the themes are vaguely reminiscent of such classics as the Riverworld series (Philip Jose Farmer), the story is nicely-placed within in a modern (i.e. 2020) setting.

The overall story arc describes the emergence of the prior-life experience of the adolescent Jay Shipman, and the subsequent consequences of that emergence experience. (In the story, prior-life experiences are submerged until adolescence and then slowly appear as part of growing up – more simply, if you thought puberty was hard, try it with a prior life emerging *GRIN*…)

Unfortunately, Jay’s prior-life experience is as a scientist engaged in developing biological weapons. Due to the political applicability of this experience, Jay is rapidly drawn into the international politics of his homeworld (Duorth). During the course of the story, his youthful naivety is stripped away, to be replaced with a more nuanced (but still optimistic) viewpoint.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital ARC for this novel. However, both the decision to post a review and the contents of the review are voluntary and my own alone.

There were a lot of things I liked about this story. For example:

Clear storytelling: The author has done a very nice job of storytelling. For example, rather than miring the reader in complex world-building around multiple new cultures (and potentially burying Jay’s story underneath a detailed and complex political environment), the author has simplified the politics of Duorth into three countries, Ariana, Roticia and Swotia. (Swotia is the neutral mediator between Ariana and Roticia). This is a nice technique which permits more expansion of Jay’s character than would be possible in a book with more world-building (note that Hunger Games did essentially the same thing, by simplifying the politics into the Capital and the Districts, and focusing on Katniss).

Relevant reincarnation themes: One of the first things one notices about the prior-life experiences is that they are cast within a 2020 world picture. For example, Jay’s prior life is as a female North Korean biological scientist. Jay’s mother’s prior life was as a Somalian guerrilla who worshiped his warlord and died for him. Jay’s father’s prior life was as a farmer in Myanmar, who left his village and died of starvation. Other past-lives are woven throughout the book, and they are (interestingly enough) both relevant and generally dark (the author may be going somewhere with this in future books). Even the more humorous ones (Jay’s sister’s past life is as a whale) have a dark side (the whale loses her baby to a shark attack).

A nice touch with the gaming: Woven throughout the story are gaming interludes, most based on the blockbuster game King of the Earth (KOTE). The game supports the storyline in that hacking the game will (eventually) permit surreptitious contact between Jay and his friends from other countries after such contact is denied by political events. However, the KOTE game also permits action and adventure inside a storyline that could become too cerebral for many readers. Saying this another way, discussion about the nature of reincarnation and the human mind are periodically interspersed with gunfights staged in an Earth-like “historical” environment. This could be touchy (as it risks losing the story amidst the gunfights) but the author pulls it off quite well.

Jay's approach to politics: A key part of the storyline is the opposition between Roticia and Ariana, mediated by the neutral Swotia. Jay begins with a very naïve position about the political environment, but as the story develops, he becomes much more aware of the political elements. This progression is marked by a series of conversations between Jay and his father. A key sentence from these conversations (which is repeated throughout the book to highlight Jay’s development) is “Who would have something to gain?” Jay’s initial comments are on the order of “haters” and “reporters”, develop into “Roticia because they are stealing our scientists” and generically “the government”, become financially more nuanced with “weapons dealers”, and somewhat conclude with the perceptive answer, “Swotia, their gain is having a chance to rule the world.”

The one thing I did struggle with in this story was (curiously enough) the ending. Now before anybody panics, the story has a very positive ending. (Happy endings are good, right?) My issue was that the ending was so positive as to seem banal. Even the first Star Wars movie (which ends with Princess Leia giving out awards to all and sundry) STILL had Darth Vader spinning off into space. While I recognize that this is a young adult story (and thus happy endings are generally more desirable) the ending still struck me as a bit too "Disney".

DEBBIE O. ★★★★★

Posted 1/02/21

 

This is the first book I've read by Ann Aguirre. Incredible. If you look up the definition of "entranced," it states: to fill (someone) with wonder and delight, holding their entire attention.


That is the definition of this book as well. You'll experience a vast array of emotions. But, you'll fight for the light to encompass the dark. What a phenomenal read. Definitely worth 5 plus stars. I recommend this book and this author. Remember if you want to read a book you can't put down, you have to pick it up first.


I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and this is an honest review.

TIFFANY. ★★★★

Posted 1/04/21

 

The imagery is great in intro AND the ENTIRE book. Really could picture the gas station, Athena and the whole scene. Descriptions author utilizes are spot on! I enjoyed the humor and Athena’s sarcasm. When Athena adds the charges to the bad guys’ rap sheet-TOO FUNNY! Really gave reader a look into her sassy side. Author also relates to reader, which is not an easy chore. So that is also noteworthy. Loved how author closed a chapter with, “went to sleep wondering what would happen tomorrow.” Very familiar feeling I can relate to. There were quite a few spots in book that I felt could have either been elaborated on or omitted. Might make it easier for reader to visualize A couple are: How did Athena turn up 37 secret prison sites? And how did Athena know that girls/women were ‘counting on her?’ Might want to reconfigure that whole thought. I mean I get it-they probably were hoping/praying for intervention of some sort—-but I feel like if author were to elaborate more on that-those parts would flow smoother. All in all “Snatched” is an excellent novel with awesome “bones”. It captivated my attention so much so that I WANTED to read more. Looked forward to reading. And I can honestly say...I am eagerly awaiting the 2nd book in series.

ANNE-MARIE S. ★★★★★

Posted 1/06/21

 

Secrets can come back to haunt you.

 

When the action starts, it will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering if they can escape to safety. Just when you think things are going to be okay, the author throws in another stumbling block for the hero and heroine to overcome. Did I mention secrets? Secrets can come back to haunt you.

SUSAN. ★★★★★

Posted 1/10/21

 

Riviting GILLIAN IS STRONGER THAN SHE Realizes. The magic is fascinating. I look forward to mote adventures with her and Cullum. The eagle is is awesome!

TAMARA D. ★★★★

Posted 1/10/21

 

I was given a copy of this book by the author for me to read and review it. My review is honest, and not influenced by anyone.

This book is easy to read. The characters are easy to relate to, and easy to picture. I enjoyed following their stories and learning about each of them. It wasn't too heavy, nor too light. One thing I was not impressed with was the ending. It was as if the author had run out of allowed words, so it ends rather abruptly. I believe it could have been spread out into another chapter or two and still kept the reader wanting more.

CODY P. ★★★★

Posted 1/11/21

I was sent an ARC of this book for my unbiased review.

This is the first book I've read from Rowan St. George and even though there are the common editing errors, I'm fairly impressed with the plot and characters. The storyline is realistic and the characters relatable, so much so you could become paranoid trying to second guess your relationships. I look forward to reading the next chapter of what I hope is a continuing series.

SCAROLET E. ★★★★★

Posted 1/11/21

I really loved reading this book. It was well written and very good reading material. I highly recommend this book and author cause I loved reading the books. I can't wait to read more. I received this book via Vibe Reviews and I am voluntarily leaving my honest review.

JOANNNE H. ★★★★★

Posted 1/11/21

 

What a enduring love story. A poor family sends out their eldest daughter because they can't feed her. They send her to a where a monster lives. The village pays homage every year so the monster won't come out and hurt them, unknowingly to them he never leaves fortress. Amarrah meets the and monster and is scared, but finally makes friends. Love gets misguided sometimes but has a way of working out. Good reading.

MOSETTA P. ★★★

Posted 1/12/21

 

 I love the opening line of the book. The first sentence was so well-crafted that I expected a dynamic and exciting journey.

 

There are places in the story where I am not sure what the author means. I was thrown out of the story when I needed to stop to look up the meanings of some of the words with non-conventional spelling, or words that had an urban more modern definition. I have a problem with authors who write about experiences that are outside of their own if they attempt to write it as if they understand what the characters are feeling within that culture.. On the other hand, I loved the interaction with Bibi. I could visualize the character. The episode with the chameleon was delightful. At the end I was sorry to see the little chameleon die. It was a great trope that the death of the chameleon was used as foreshadowing. There were very few errors in this book. I found one on page 271. An omission of a single little word in this sentence. “There’s gotta somebody in their city I can call.” It needed the word 'be'.

SUSAN ★★★★★

Posted 1/14/21

Talk about.flying by the seat of your pants, what a ride! Helena must have nerves made of steel. The book is exciting and sexy. Can’t wait to read book 2!

JVLES. ★★★★★

Posted 1/18/21

"Hidden" follows the Destined on a quest to determine what's causing the Spinner's sight to be obscured. They need to go on a journey into regions noone has traveled in a long time (or did they?). Will they be able to defeat the dark shadows awaiting them at the end of this journey?


This series is so underrated. Part two is just as exciting and awesome as the first one was. The world-building is excellent and all the characters are so likable. I did not want this book to stop and can't wait for the next one to be released.


If you like books with adventure, love, an unlikely band of friends and a bunch of paranormal creatures, I highly recommend the books from this series!

I received a free book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

TIFFANY ★★★★

Posted 1/19/21

The story was original and clever, so there’s that. I really liked how at the end of book the “money” tied together. It was definitely a full circle book. With that being said,I am having a hard time understanding why the money was so important. Like I said - I really appreciated/enjoyed the concept of book, AFTER it a was finished.There could have been more emphasis on importance of “money”. I was a little put off by all of the swearing/cussing in book, BUT the more I read the I understood why it was included. If was part of the character development-I get it. Just saying... For originality and cleverness this book received a 4 star review from me.

STEPHANIE C. ★★★★★

Posted 1/19/21

Starvation was a difficult read for me as it dealt with eating disorders. Wes McCoy was always considered average in comparison to his older brother Jason. Jason had been accepted into Stanford on a wrestling scholarship but still encouraged Wes to try to meet his own goals. He liked drawing and spent most of his spare time filling sketchpads with his drawings. One afternoon he runs into Caila, a ballerina student. What stood out the most to him was how thin she appeared. Despite encouraging her to eat more, Caila eventually ends up in the hospital needing a liver transplant. Where the donor liver comes from devastates Wes beyond comprehension. This isn't a happy ending type of book.

It has an open ending but the way the story is unique with the before and after moments during Wes's own battle with anorexia. It is a worthwhile read for anyone that wants to see the thoughts of a high school student with an eating disorder and his coping skills.

LEILANI A. ★★★★

Posted 1/19/21

 

It was a good book. As I mentioned in the title, it kept me interested. I’m not too happy with some of the aspects in the book, but that’s because of what I like, not because of the author doing a poor job of writing. I think she did good.

TAMARA D. ★★★★

Posted 1/22/21

 

Annalise Storm is a spunky, cocky, defiant character. She takes things on head on, wants to make a difference in her world, and gets trampled on every time she turns around. In a world that I don't exactly understand, she is trying to do her job, but realizing that things are not as she may have believed.

Mavel is loyal, loving and entirely an enigma to both the reader and Annalise it seems. I want to see his character develop and learn what is behind his outer shell.

I don't know if it is the formatting or what, but there are many issues with extra letters being added to words, making it hard to focus on the story without getting angry having to decipher the words and sentences.

These are my honest thoughts, and have not been affected by the fact that the author was kind enough to send me a free copy of this book so that I would review it on her behalf.

 TRACY ★★★★

Posted 1/22/21  

 

Solid 4.5 star read. First of all, I love that cover. Even though Ares and Willow hate each other, they are attracted to each other and will need each other to overcome the conflict that arises. I really enjoyed this story. It was short but had action, a conflict that was completely resolved and character growth. I highly recommend this story, especially if you want a Motorcycle Club read that does not have a lot of fillers.

CHRISTI G. ★★★★★

Posted 1/22/21

I absolutely loved this book! The world building is phenomenal! I could smell the forest and hear the sounds. Murray's storytelling is so vivid without being wordy. The characters are well developed. While this can be read as a stand alone novel I recommend reading the first book and the novella to have a better understanding of the background.


Hidden is a real page turner with a lot of action, some humor, some snark, and epic adventure. I highly recommend

 

JEAN-CHARLES ★★★

Posted 1/24/24

 

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. It was my first attempt at a novel from Elani Roman, who here is drawing a nearly brave new world, Chroma, organized by and around the Cube and the Cubist. The story describes the life of Keme and Kit his brother who share an apartment. Keme enjoys a rather busy life shared between two jobs as an enthusiast history teacher and also museum curator spending his spare time & nights in a torrid relationship with Sephrena his current girlfriend…. Nothing could be any better up to when another outrageously sexy girl or woman(?), Sara, shows up at the museum and desperately displaying her advantages hits at Kit. Things cannot get any better, but perhaps is it the best it gets before growing less idyllic. In the story the hints at the existence of magic slowly creeping in and a demon appears. I have been surprised by the relative immaturity of the male characters and the (sin provoking) women, a rather conformist if not traditionalist view of woman (Eve and the original sin). Unfortunately I have not been really caught by the twist of the appearance of a demonic spirit. I felt the novel, portrayed shallow characters with no specific tangible atmosphere to it. I would like go further with this story if not this world before really committing to a definite opinion….

STEPHANIE C. ★★★★

Posted 10/22/20  

 

The book was very graphic and I would only recommend adults read this. The details were a major strong point, especially when it came to character and scene descriptions.


Six contestants from all walks of life were chosen to play "the game" as a reality series. The group is brought into carnival arena where they are briefed about the contest. The winner is the person that finishes all the puzzle challenges first or 14 days have passed. Added to the contest are PonPon bunnies. If they are encountered, only candy prevents them from transforming into gruesome monsters that will rip the contestant apart!


There are some issues that need to be addressed in the book with being able to understand what is occurring. The timeline is difficult to follow and the character Quin has a fe and fir that I can't tell if they are parts of the personality or if they are physical extensions of the Quin. There is over explanation of some back stories but nothing detailing what the supposed profiles contained. The losing contestants where dismembered or fell to other fates- this made the book very similar to The Hunger Games series.


I applaud the shock and entertainment factors in the overall story so I would rate this a 4 star book. I deducted 1 star for the mentioned technicalities.

KAYE. ★★★★★

Posted 10/26/20

Blazing britches! Rochelle delivers with this delectably scrumptious deep dish delicacy, serving up some simmering truths, decadent decisions and relentless pursuits, unleashing one helluva wild ride, keeping you riveted and frozen to your seat, catapulting this gem to a whole new level. Shenanigans, mayhem and havoc run amuck, dissolved restrictions and crashed limitations are scattered and exploited, exposing the fun-filled facts, daring debacles and electrifying escapades, putting our characters through their paces, bursting this baby to life brilliantly. Add all the drama, misgivings, underlying currents, humor, intense situations and thrilling intrigue, along with a boatload of revelations, make for one sensational masterpiece. The characters, dialogue, interactions and charged atmosphere along with relatable qualities and individual traits add depth and diversity, transforming them into lovable personalities. The scenes are strikingly sharp with abundant details and vivid descriptions creating an elaborate backdrop that makes the storyline explode. Fantastic job Rochelle, thanks for sharing this bad boy with us.

I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story.

JEAN-CHARLES G. ★★★★

Posted 10/27/20

 

I was my first attempt at a novel from J. C. Gemmell and this book struck me as being extremely dense. This book was sent to me as an Advance Reader Copy against an honest and fair review. I have to admit that I am a SciFi lover and I quickly realized it was not a novel on could or should rush through, the world created as well as its representation are complex with several stories or characters if not destinies running at the same time if not in parallel, one needs to be fully concentrated when reading it. It is well written, the plot(s) are captivating but personally I found it difficult to feel or even less fall for one of the other characters, there was perhaps too much to grasp for one novel. I would advise reading it because of some interesting perspectives over a possible future of mankind.

CYNTHIA G. ★★★★★

Posted 10/28/20

 

Great Story Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2020 Pleasantly Surprised :) Jessie and Josiah’s story was captivating, funny, well written. Loved the play on names throughout the book – very clever. I was rooting for Josiah the entire time. Maybe we ALL have a little call girl in us just waiting to come out... I totally agree - Great Job

jean-charles g. ★★★★★

Posted 10/29/20 

 

This book was sent to me as an Advance Reader Copy against an honest and fair review.
It was my first attempt at a novel from J. C. Gemmell and this book struck me as being extremely dense.
I have to admit that I am a SciFi lover and I quickly realized it was not a novel one could or should rush through, the world created as well as its representation are complex with several stories or characters if not destinies running at the same time if not in parallel, one needs to be fully concentrated when reading it.
It is well written, the plot(s) are captivating but personally I found it difficult to feel or even less fall for one of the other characters, there was perhaps too much to grasp for one novel.
I would advise reading it because of some interesting perspectives over a possible future of mankind.

CYNTHIA G. ★★★★★

Posted 11/2/20  

This was a quick one but a great story nonetheless. It pulled me in right away. Very vividly portrayed. The halls of justice come to life

STEPHANIE C. ★★★

Posted 11/04/20

 

The story was character-driven, with Zaztice (Zaz) as the main protagonist. Zaz is a firm believer that justice should always win. She works as an intern at a law firm where she is constantly criticized by Nera, one of the more prominent attorneys. Every day, after work, Zaz meets up and has dinner with her best friend Thea. Thea gives her a statute of Lady Justice and Zaz goes home. That evening, as she goes to bed, the statute begins to glow. The following day, Zaz begins to notice colored clouds around people. When Nera enters the office, her appearance has changed into a vile monster. Zaz sees a black cloud around her and is terrified. Nera begins to berate her but the office manager intervenes. When she meets up with her best friend, she discovers that Thea's belief of magic may not be too far off. A series of mythical events follow and Zaz is given the choice of standing her ground or possibly disappearing into a dark abyss. This is a good story that would be appealing to young readers interested in Greek mythology and fantasy stories. The pacing is fast, with a few twists mixed in that kept my interest easily. I am rating this a 3 out 5 stars. The formatting needs to be looked at, the division of the page break for the chapters appears in the middle of sentences. There are a few grammatical errors but they don't detract from the overall story. The ending is a cliffhanger and this could easily become a series story.

DR MOSETTA P. ★★

Posted 11/05/20

 

Cynthia Gonzales offers the story Destiny. The story of Claire, a young girl whose world is destroyed by the death of both her parents within a week of each other. Forced by this circumstances, Claire becomes a ward of her father’s sister, Emily, moves away from her friends, and leaves her home state of Colorado. Reading the dedication I was sorry to see that the author’s parents died within a week of each other in real life. There are some parts of this story that are touching as the author evokes genuine emotion. It is at these points that she shows the story in a way that it is vivid and memorable. Claire and Louie are fated to be together. We follow Claire and Louie as they grow up and Claire loses her virginity to her best friend. The ending was a bit predictable, yet satisfying. As an editor, I have difficulty focusing on a story that has writing flaws. I find myself wanting to step out of the story and make corrections. In one instance, note the difference in spelling this one character’s name in an early part of the story. "I'm Alison Romero, are you new here?" Allison stuck her hand out, and Claire shook it nodding (p. 16). The change in spelling pushed this reader out of the story and forced me to go back, re-read, and at least look for a logical reason for the difference. At another point the author said that Claire and Louie were drinking wine coolers and in the next sentence she changed it to beer (page 66). Further I was distracted by the overuse of “ly adverbs” and the “telling” rather than showing in the story. Another issue with this story is the “head-hopping”. It caused a misunderstanding, for a few seconds, in some cases. In addition, there are instances of faulty parallelism. By the end of the story some of the “head-hopping” had stopped and the author maintained her point of view.

JACK K. ★★★★

Posted 11/09/20

 

This is an epic fantasy novel. It is somewhat a mix between a modern-day version of Homer’s Odyssey and a video-game. The novel features a group of heroes who progress through a lengthy series of adventures, each one quickly following each other, like beads on a string. Each adventure has a new set of “bad guys”, a new exotic setting, ever more complex magic, and ever more sophisticated demonstrations of swordcraft and the like.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital ARC for this novel. However, both the decision to post a review and the contents of the review are voluntary and my own alone.

Preliminarily, the novel is quite stylized and relies heavily on traditional fantasy tropes. In no particular order there are attacks by sexy young maidens turning into evil fanged creatures, attacks by sentient trees, attacks by wraiths (not to mention kobolds, manticore, lizards, sea creatures with tentacles, a wide variety of dragons of various types, animal-faced monsters, rubbery monsters, flying monsters, demons, ghosts, walking skeletons, wind elementals, various undead creatures, and so on). Along the same lines of commonly used fantasy tropes are a wide variety of magical swords, magical gems, magical wands, enchanted statues, golems of various types, fire demons, dragon eggs, an invisibility cloak, flying wizards, bags whose insides are larger than the outsides, magical lyres, cages with shrinking walls, talking horses, flying horses, living human statues, hawkmen, cat people, spiders, gypsies, and so on. There are also castles, elven villages nested in trees, libraries, flying boats, conventional boats (and less conventional boats), along with island estates, trans-dimensional portals, voids, and the like.

What I liked about this story? The originality. Although the author used a number of common fantasy elements, he tended to provide creative new twists to them. A couple of examples.

The snow dragon. After several run-ins with dragons of various types, our heroes find and tame a snow dragon. While snow dragons do exist in fantasy literature, they are much rarer than the usual sort. This particular snow dragon had the curious feature of snacking on precious gems (how they tamed the dragon, by the way) which I thought was a clever twist to the usual dragon-camping-on-the-mound-of-jewels approach.

The priest (Candol) “praying” by flipping a coin. Yes, the coin CAN land on the edge. I loved this. It is a clever and somewhat satirical approach to the traditional role of "priest".

Kilinir (female) and Kor-Lebear (male). These were a pair of assassins, and were a somewhat creative melding of stereotypes around fantasy assassins and fantasy ninja. As an aside, this was perhaps the most progressive pairing in the story, as neither individual seemed terribly constrained by gender stereotypes (or any other stereotypes, as near as I could tell).

Additionally, I liked the killer slime mold (there was a killer moss as well), killer flying plants (Freels), the “weapons closet”, the sentient water, a sea-monster which is a living hydrogen flame-thrower, an intelligent castle, a fantasy shopping mall, the “goo” attacks, an attack with flowers, and the Pugen Power cat.

What did I have issues with in this story? A couple of things.

The story does not have a strong overlying plot. The heroes simply move from adventure to adventure. Yes, there is a “bad guy” (Miro) but he seems to mostly serve the function of generating minions for our heroes to fight whenever they need something to fight. There are also some weird interludes (climbing the mountain, for example) that seem to serve no significant function in the story arc.

There is not much character development. With the possible exception of Sabu and Schanter/Lorel the characters tend to be very stereotypical and stylized.

I wasn’t wildly excited about the Hevon gems. The Hevon gems appear at various points in the story. My issue with them is that they seem to be “get-out-of-jail” cards for our heroes whenever they are in a tough place (a new set tends to appear whenever things look dire).

Our heroes don’t seem to get hurt. They DO get killed (and frequently resurrected) but there seems to be no in-between state. They are either in perfect physical shape and well-fed – or they are dead (and generally resurrected soon later). Yes, I agree the genre is stylized, but STILL.

I also had some “scientific” objections to some things. While this IS A fantasy tale, if an author is going to go to the trouble of naming parts of the spectrum invisible to humans, they are fair game for other types of scientific issues.

The first of these was around mountain heights. While I could not scale from the map in my version of the book (too fuzzy), from various descriptions, Maldene seemed about twice the diameter of Earth. However, the mountains were described as up to 100,000 feet. I don’t think this works. Mountains get taller when planets are smaller, not bigger. Everest at roughly 30,000 feet is Earth’s tallest mountain. Olympus Mons at roughly 85,000 feet is the tallest mountain on Mars. Mars has a diameter of 4212 miles, earth is 7917 miles. Unless Maldene is a VERY light planet (which would not be consistent with gold, gems and the rest of it) something doesn’t make sense here.

The second of these is with respect to the whirlpool. The whirlpool is described as 3750 miles by 1500 miles (about 6X the size of the Mediterranean). However, our heroes were able to circle around it in several kevs (weeks) and cross it in “a mere two rises”. I don’t think this works either. It seems to imply a speed substantially faster than any known sailing ship.

TRAVIS P. ★★★★★

Posted 11/16/20

 

This was an interesting story. Part horror, part science fiction with a little bit of romance thrown in. Raven, the main character, goes on a camping trip with some friends hoping for some scary Halloween excitement. The campsite is in some "haunted" woods near a ghost town. The story feels a lot like an 80s slasher flick and there are a lot of elements from slashers but there is more to the story. There might be a monster in the woods. Everyone might not make it to the end of the story. This is not a deep thought classic story but it isn't meant to be. It's for entertainment and it is entertaining. This is not a story for children.

STEPHANIE C. ★★★★★

Posted 11/21/20 

 

This was a fast book that had all of the elements of suspense that any mystery reader could enjoy.
Gema Fox has just graduated from college as a fashion designer. She returns to her small town home to assist with her parents' small business in clothing designs and alterations. Gema has a surprise waiting upon her arrival. She had created a new designer wedding dress that had caught the attention of a fashion reality show. Alika Sells and her film crew offer to promote the store and soon offer a heavy sum of money to produce an episode featuring A Finer Stitch. Gema and her parents accept the offer.
As crews are setting up and getting ready to film, Gema stumbles across Alika having an arguement with Iniko. Iniko was upset that she wasn't in charge of production and storms off. When Gema is asked to find Iniko, she finds somebody else....their body.

The book is fast paced and events unfold quickly. The story lacks physical character details- the descriptions of the people are mainly of how their personalities were presented. This was a unique feature of Roman's writing style. The only thing I disliked was how fast the book ended

LEILANI A. ★★★★

Posted 11/23/20  

 

It was a cute read. As I mentioned, short and sweet. I really enjoyed it, despite wishing it would have been the longer book I had expected, instead of a novella.

I received a free copy for an unbiased review.

EMILY S. ★★★★★

Posted 11/23/20

 

Initially I thought that the book would be the same ol thing. However, I read it in one night. I was so engrossed in finding out the details of the grandmother and if the two main characters could find their way to one another. I highly recommend this funny and wild tale.

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