BOOK REVIEWS

HERE IS WHERE REVIEWS ARE POSTED!

CLICK HERE for the most recent review!

Lynda. ★★★★

Posted 12/26/19

 

This is my first book by H M Gooden. It is part of a series. I haven’t read the first 5 books, but this book is great. Zahara is on a quest on the other side of the world. This story kept my attention and I will definitely be reading more books by this author. I am honestly and voluntarily leaving a review for Amazon.

Tamara D. ★★★★

Posted 1/3/20

I enjoyed this book, I am part of a reading group, and was given this book by the author.

This book has a wonderful storyline, I enjoyed the Supernatural side of the story. "His talent" is quite impressive! (I won't say more, or else I will spoil the surprise!)

I really enjoyed the fact that the woman of this story was given such an amazing talent, and revered for it. The fact that the hero of the story gives her credit for her mind and her thinking is a wonderful way to portray respect. I think that any woman that had admiration of a man like that would fall head over heels for such a man.

I was unimpressed by the editing of this book. There are far too many grammatical errors for my liking.

Pat D. ★★★★★

1/6/20

 

I received the ARC for an honest review. The fight for the kingdoms has twists and turns as treachery maneuvers throughout the storyline. What is going to happen now? Will the "lost prince" ever win his land back, & which lass will become his queen as he has to use every bit of his intelligence & assassin training to stay a step ahead of the circle. Cant wait for the next book to be available.

Billie w. ★★★★★

1/8/20

 

On New Year's Eve, Cole is waiting outside a party for his wife to leave with her current lover.
Cole's resolution is to make sure his wife sticks to her marriage vows. Since he agreed to love her til death do them part, why couldn't she? His only goal is to make those words come true.
The things he wants to do to his wife and her lover are unspeakable.
This is a violent book. There is a ton of blood. If you can't handle a few chapters of descriptive gore, then this book is not for you. Maybe I should add triggers, but instead let's just call it EXTREME HORROR.

What a brilliant horror novel this is!! I love this authors writing!!
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believeable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building that adds so much to the story.
Love the gore and the whole black humor as I call it.
I can't wait to see what the author brings us next!!!
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

Kiyomi. ★★★

Posted 1/9/20

 

The story is short and fast paced. It is also advertised as such so I knew that from the start (which was good).

I did like the idea of the story but think it is a shame that it could not have been longer because you don't really get to know the characters and I think to much time was spent on the daily activities of the h rather than the world building or interaction between h and H. The H actually came off as a bit of a bully in the beginning. 

Because the story was so short and fast the hook-up in the end between h and H did not seem very believable. So I would give this story 3 starts and might try some of this authors longer omega stories.

liz e. ★★★

Posted 1/9/20

 

** spoiler alert ** Omega Suppressed is an 18+ story that contains a lot of sexual talk, an attempted sexual assault, and an explicit sex scene.
I can tell this is an interesting world that Leann Ryans has created. I am new to it and don't know all the ins and outs. I wanted more information about why the omegas were so sought after. What are these people? Shifters? Aliens? What makes a person an alpha, beta, or omega. With this being a standalone it needed more exposition.
I was really angry at the main male character, Luke, almost the whole story. Telling Shai that she needs to just let her body do what it's supposed to and let an alpha claim her sounded a lot like he was advocating rape. But somehow that's ok because that's what omegas are for. Having Shai suddenly go into heat while she's by Luke and begging him to claim her seemed so against character that it lost me. It was like everything she was fighting for just got chucked out the window. Overall I was dissatisfied with this story. It could be better with some reworking

Liz e. ★

Posted 1/9/20

 

Wow. There's a disclaimer at the beginning of the book that states the story is gross and immature. That is highly accurate. I would also add disturbing. It weirded me out more than HP Minecraft. I have it one start because I have to wonder at the mental state of the author to come up with such disgusting visuals.

jvles. ★★★

Gchat M. ★★★★★

Posted 1/16/20

If you think it's all about music, there is the conspiracy.

A 'disastrously-hopeful darkly-comical' read.

Trina H. ★★★★★

Posted 1/20/20

I'm a big huge giant fan of all things supernatural/paranormal, and this book did not fail me! I especially like that rather than being one ghost story, or even multiple stories in one location, there are multiple stories taking place in multiple locations!

I'm not easily scared, so I was frightened by these stories, but I was intrigued, and I did spend most of my reading time on the edge of my seat.

Lynda. ★★★★

Posted 1/21/20

 

This was my first time reading omegaverse with a strong omega heroine lead. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I am honestly and voluntarily leaving a review for Amazon

Denise o. ★★★

Posted 1/21/20

 

So I haven't read anything from this author so maybe I am just not into her style of writing but I just could not get into this book. I thought it was a slow read and I had a hard time staying focused on reading the book.

Debbie G. ★★★★

Posted 1/23/20

 

A good omegaverse quick read. Very enjoyable and entertaining. I would have liked to see more details. But I felt this book deserves 4 stars. It has an excellent storyline and definitely will keep you interested. A definite page turner. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading romance with strong willed women.
I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and this is an honest review.

Tamara d. ★★★★

Posted 1/26/20 (SPOILER ALERT)

 

I am happy to have read this book for the author. I was given a free copy for my review, but I have not been influenced in my rating in any way.

A lot of the time, I find Alpha/Omega based books rather cheezy, but this one happily for me does not fit that description.

Animalistic behavior usually follows the whole the strong male has the pick of the female he most desires, and she really doesn't have a choice. Here, the female is doing everything in her power to allow her to choose for herself, not only for her, but for her fellow omegas as well. Taking on an older, violent alpha shows the reader the depth of her desire to initiate fundamental change in their community.

I enjoyed this book, and it flowed very well and was easy to read.

Like ∙ flag

Mari s. ★★★

Posted 1/26/20

 

This is the second book of the Candy Savant Series but can be read as a stand-alone novel. I haven’t read the first one; actually I didn’t know there was a previous one but I enjoyed reading this one. This is the first book I read of this author and now I am curious to read book one of the series.

The book is about the all-female society of Arkite in the year 2244. Savant Elise Jackson who is Arkite’s supreme leader has spent two years along with her assistant Sara, genetically engineering to repair body and mind of her lost love Candice (Candy); Viceroy of Pyramid City and her followers in the Savant Council don’t think they should be wasting time and resources for Elise’s personal desires. Elise succeeds reviving her lover but now she’ll have to fight and win her love from Sara, who also loves Candy with all her heart. If this isn’t enough, there’s also a revolution brewing; some trying to relieve her from the position, others to maintain her. What will happen when the artificial intelligence mainframe is also helping the members of the Savant Council that are against her?

It is a very interesting book, I was compelled by the fact it is an all-female society. They’re human though, meaning there is a lot of jealousy, contempt and power plays. Kept me reading page after page, wanting to know what was going to happen. There is a lot of action, the plot is well developed and the characters are of interest.

There are some things I disagree about how they do things and their reasons but are part of the story goals. Some may think is a little too much of human nature at its worst. But works for the development of the plot. Sometimes I got a bit tired of the foul language but it’s also part of the characters, at least some of them. Either way, I couldn’t stop reading.

The characters are intriguing, all of them complex but not all alluring. Elise is very self-centred and even despicable; however is fascinating to read how her Machiavellian mind works, even when you disagree with her. I liked Candice but I was hoping she had chosen a different path, I still wonder why she played along with Elise’s power game. Then there is Sara, I feel for her, I think she deserves better.

In general, I liked the book, is a very entertaining one; page-turning undoubtedly. Despite I am not happy about the way the book ends, it was a good one. Maybe there is book three and things will change to where I was hoping for. I recommend it if you don’t mind a bit of deceit and treason. Consider there is love.

3.5 stars

I received an ARC copy of this book and voluntarily leaving a review.

Abigail s. ★★★★★

Posted 1/29/20

I was very sceptical to read a fantasy type book as I usually read romance. But from the onset I was captivated by the tale of Kaia and Klaus and the story unfolding about the heirs.

It is amazing how Hayley Reece Chow manages to mesmerize you from page 1 and every fact you read ties in till the very last page. Nothing is said by chance.

I can absolutely relate to the character of Kaia that is depicted through various stages of adolescences and coming to realize that she is meant to have such a powerful gift. The moments of doubt and bullying the character experienced just made Kaia so much real for me.

The plot of Odriel's Heirs speaks touches on various genres as you experience fantasy, coupled with a love story unfolding and you also have these epic battle scenes for those readers who love such reading.

I am thankful that I was given an opportunity to reach such amazing work and definitely cannot wait to read what lies in store for our heirs.


 

Jack k. ★★★★★

Posted 1/29/20

 

This book is a concise summary (almost a checklist) of how to prepare for an interview. The audience is primarily recent college graduates (although the book would certainly be useful to anyone preparing for an interview for their first serious job, or for returning to the workforce after a period of absence). The main factor that distinguishes this book from similar books is its succinctness. This is a book that one would download a few days before an interview and use as a "study guide" or "checklist" for preparing for the interview.

The book covers three types of interview: face-to-face, phone and video. At a high level, the principles of face-to-face interviewing are timeless, and this book does a fine job of summarizing them. That being said, I personally found the sections on phone and video interviewing more interesting, as these forums are newer, and the techniques are less well-established. As one interesting example, the author suggested renting a room at a hotel in order to make sure the background for a video interview is professional looking. Other interesting comments included some tips on face-to-camera contact, avoiding swivel chairs, and making the same effort to dress for a video interview as you would for a face-to-face interview.

The last two chapters of the book are 1) most common interview questions and 2) most common interview mistakes. These chapters are written in the same concise style as the rest of the book, providing more of an outline than a detailed discussion. That being said, the list was spot-on from my experience - including such key points as knowing the company, not trash-talking your previous company, and the like.

Now, some comments on what the book is NOT. First and foremost, this is NOT a book for someone experienced in the workforce. While it does an excellent job of providing a "study guide" for the individual starting out, it does not touch on any of the complexity of a more senior interview. More specifically, it does not talk about creating interview presentations, it does not address aggressive or hostile questioning, there is no discussion around legal issues (for example, the complexity of interviewing with the competitors of your former company), there is no discussion of strategy for the typical C-level "chat", and so on. This is for someone's first serious job-hunting attempt, not for the experienced professional.

Additionally, this is a short and succinct book. It is NOT a book with scripts, or instructions, or stories of interviews seen by the author, or role-playing examples, or the like. As I mentioned earlier, it basically a "study-guide" or a "checklist".

Emily S. ★★★★

Posted 2/3/20

I took a chance on this book after reading the description. I usually lean towards historical romance but I am glad I decided to dive in. It vividly describes a coastal Delaware town where Clair and her five-year-old son live. She is a recent graduate in wildlife biology and begins to look for work while teaching her young son ways to conserve the ecosystem. She meets a new professor and the attraction while mutual was met with reluctance and distrust. The professor, Brian, was also a wildlife conversationalist and widower. They end up working together to help the local endangered bird population and horseshoe crabs while skirting their attraction. Clair ends up having to learn to trust Brian in a scary and tragic time when her son becomes very ill. I liked that the book had real-life issues, like single parenting, domestic violence, death and having to overcome trauma. It was a good read and I would recommend it. I was given a free copy of the book to read with no expectation of a review.

Aizlynne. ★★★★★

Posted 2/3/20

Well thought out world, though could use a little more explanation of some things (i.e. what the different classification of supernaturals mean) This is an urban fantasy set in our world where supernatural beings are still in hiding. It is also a second chance, slow burn romance. The romance is very sweet. Elijah is very much a paladin type in that he believes in law enforcement whole heartedly and can't imagine a situation where they won't be able to save the day. Freya knows that there are elements of society that the supernatural enforcement will not be able to take down because she grew up under the care of a criminal organization. I really wanted to slap Elijah at times because of his naivete. He is a bounty hunter that is surprisingly clueless about the workings of the black market. I would have thought he'd have more dealings there. Overall, a great first book in a series. Can't wait to see where the story goes next.

Viet t. ★★★★

Posted 2/6/20

 

Well written and kept me reading. Unusual take and it came off well. Well worth reading.

Jack k. ★★★★★

Posted 2/17/20

 

This is a solid, fast-paced, high-fantasy story with a bit of a "Dungeons and Dragons" feel to it. Readers who like fantasy stories with strong female protagonists and a lot of detailed action will enjoy this work. As one specific example, if you liked “The Deed of Paksenarrion” by Elizabeth Moon (in fact, if you liked anything by Elizabeth Moon) you’ve got a good chance of liking this. I rated this as 4.5/5 (solid read, a few rough edges).

Disclaimer before I go on: 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 choice alone.

Short summary: The young heroine Kaia is the first-born of an Odriel Dragon Heir, and (as such) has the magical power of making fire. This power is to be used to kill zombies (called the Lost in the story). This power is pivotal in this alternate-world history because the demon necromancer Nifras is evoking the Lost to bring evil to the land. Through a series of adventures (some grim, some less so), including storming a castle, watching her father being killed, being kidnapped by a necromancer, meeting dragons (good ones and bad ones), spelunking through a cave, working with (two) magicians, searching for an enchanted sword, AND playing a major role in two battles; Kaia develops emotional fortitude, resolves a jealousy issue with her twin brother, and develops a lasting friendship/romance with another Odriel Heir.

What I liked the most? The battle scenes and the training scenarios are detailed and well-developed. There is a very strong sense of realism to both. Not only are detailed actions (kicks, lunges, etc.) described; but Kaia gets tired, she drips sweat, and she loses strength to the point she can’t make fire. This is VERY refreshing in comparison to many novels in this genre, which often seem to have the hero/heroine swinging a sword effortlessly for scene after scene! In the same vein, descriptions of training sequences are FAR more detailed and realistic than is typical for the genre. (In a generally serious adventure story, there is even a brief interlude of some amusing fight scenes in Chapter 5, where Kaia barrels her way through a set of inept guards.)

This story is really fast-paced: This story is a complex trilogy packaged in a single volume. The pace is fast, the style is swift, and the story just gallops right along. As a positive feature, the reader is unlikely to get bored! As a negative feature, it is unusually easy to fall behind or get lost. This book falls into the category of a book that is read once to figure out what is going on, and then flipped over and read a second time to immediately thereafter to understand the details.

Many characters and late introduction of some key characters: There are a lot of characters in this story, and they come at the reader fast. (The first two chapters introduce 18 significant characters, for example.) Additionally, some of these characters have several names/titles (for example, Kaia’s father, Tam, is the Guardian Dashul). Furthermore, there is significant late introduction of key “good guy” characters (for example, the Maldibor in Chapter 7, and the magnus Dorinar in Chapter 18). If the reader isn’t extremely attentive, it is possible to “lose sight of the ball” and be attributing actions and thoughts to the wrong character.

What I struggled with the most in the storyline: Kaia is bullied in one way or another throughout a good fraction of the book. Some of this was justifiable (being bullied as child for being younger, being exiled by her village for burning a child as a child, etc.). Some of this was (unfortunately) consistent with real life (being treated negatively by "villagers" after saving their "village" is a painful real-world experience experienced by many military and police). HOWEVER, after some point, it seemed too much. Bullies go after the weak. Keep in mind that this young women was trained as a fighter and can shoot fireballs from her finger-tips. Bullying her would seem akin to bullying a velociraptor!

What I also struggled with (yes, this is somewhat the reverse of the above point, but bear with me): There are a set of scenes around the kidnapping of Kaia from Summerbanks (which are an attempt by Lord Conrad and Valente to suborn Kaia through seduction). At this point in the story, Kaia is portrayed as having a significant self-esteem issue. If we take as given that Kaia does have a self-esteem problem (justified or not, see the previous point about bullying a velociraptor) it would seem that Valente would have been MUCH more successful in his machinations to suborn Kaia by pushing on her self-esteem issues. She breaks free really fast (WAY too fast in my mind). It would have been much more realistic for Kaia to get far more deeply mired in this manipulation before breaking free.

Other smaller things that I struggled with: Everybody’s going to pile on me for this, but I didn’t like Gus (the dog). First, his presence reminded me too much of “Disney Princess” stories that always include an animal companion (Kaia is many things, but a "Disney Princess" is probably not one of them). Second, I found his “puppyish” nature to be dissonant (either this is a military working dog, thus shouldn’t act like a puppy; or this is a pet, thus shouldn’t be a core part of a storyline with this much action). Last, but certainly not least, Gus was portrayed in the beginning of the book as an essential companion for a Dragon Heir (to break them out of the rage of fire). HOWEVER, in the last and most significant battle, Kaia must leave Gus behind, so he wouldn’t get hurt.

Tamara d. ★★★

Posted 2/17/20

 

James Bond was never a genre that captured my attention. This was a decent enough book, I simply didn't get into it like I do other books, so it took me a long time to read.

If you like spy books, please take this as my thumbs up, if you don't, well... the choice is yours.

The main character is well developed, and the supporting character has good charisma.

Thank you goes out to the author, I have read this book and agreed to write a review for her through an online site.

Gchat M. ★★★★

Posted 2/17/20

 

Glimpses into life in Alaska. The story about the bear and the seal hunting are interesting. The reader is allowed to enjoy the narrative, without much comment or judgment by the author.

ANIE c. ★★★

Posted 2/18/20

 

The idea is good, but I’m not sold on the execution. I was left with a lot of questions, and don’t feel satisfied with the ending. It feels a bit like the author took an idea from one book, a character from that movie, and kinda tried to smoosh them together to get the idea across. The history of the world isn’t really explored, and while I can understand what they were going for, I don’t feel involved in it. It was rough to get into the book, to be completely honest. Now, I’m not saying it’s a completely terrible book. It just needs a bit more oomph. One thing that never quite clicked to me how the system came to be after the collapse. I never quite grasped the hierarchy that came out of the system. They were trying to make non-personal families, and then I just lose the story line in random details that don’t seem to add to the story. I love the idea, dear author, but I think it should be rehashed a few times to flesh out the story a bit more. It seems a bit flat. I absolutely believe this has the potential to be great, and get across anything you are trying to say. I just don’t think it is quite there.

Shweta B. ★★★★★

Posted 3/14/20

 

Though this is the only book I have read in the series, I was amazed by the vivid imagery created by the author. The deserts, the cave, the fae realm and more.

Apart from the plot I simply loved the way the author could make me feel, see and taste the environment around me.

Another thing that sets this book apart is the ease with which Zahara accepts her role as the savior of her family and moves ahead to fulfill her purpose without knowing what will come her way.

All in all I'd say a wonderful read and I'm quite sad that I did not get to read the first five books in this series.

This review has been written by my personal choice.

Jack K. ★★★★★

Posted 3/14/20

This is a fast-paced crime thriller. At a high level, Will Spaulding and Rudy Chelmin investigate the death of Kendra Farrell, a female data-processing expert whose dead body was found in a boxcar. The plot has an unusual number of twists, dead-ends, and red-herrings; but concludes very effectively by wrapping up all the myriad plot threads in a nice package. A solid and engaging read, much along the lines of authors such as Dick Couch and Tom Clancy.

Disclaimer before I go on: 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 choice alone.

To begin with, this story was VERY engaging; first, because the story line was unpredictable, and second, because there was a very high level of action. Additionally, the story was complex, with various plots, sub-plots, investigational dead ends, and the like. This is NOT one of those stories that the reader has it “all figured out” by Chapter 4! Or by Chapter 44, actually. Last, but not certainly not least, the story didn’t leave the reader hanging waiting for the next book, but had a satisfying end that pulled together all the various elements into a coherent conclusion.

There were a number of other things to like about the story. To begin with, there was some subtle dry humor threaded throughout the tale. I chuckled when I first learned the hero’s name was Willson Voit Spaulding (and smirked again every time Spaulding’s name appeared thereafter). There was some military humor as well, with subtle jokes here and there directed at various branches of the armed services. There was also some subtle situational humor, of which one example was the pursuit of a white pick-up truck, only to lead to a whole collection of white pick-up trucks at a construction site.

There were also some very solid action scenes. One of the things the author did very well was setting the action scenes within a context that was at least plausible. As perhaps the most dramatic example of this, were the two scenes with RPGs – the first being the destruction of the gas station (and Will’s car) and the second being the destruction of the Judge’s chambers during a plea bargain negotiation (just missing killing Will as well). The presence of the RPGs was explained by the theft of Chinese RPGs from the military museum. (While one can debate why these were not disarmed if they were in a military museum, mistakes CAN be made, and it was a plot tactic that put several RPGs in play in a not-unrealistic way.) Along similar lines was setting the fictional gang M-9 as the originator of much of the violence. M-9 seems to have been modeled on the real-world M-13, with some changes made appropriate to the storyline. Again, this kept the action grounded in real-world crime, thus giving the story a solid sense of realism.

Now, I had some quibbles here and there.

I was not comfortable with the level of nepotism. Chief Arthur Spaulding (Will’s uncle and adoptive? father) is a key figure in the story. At various points, Chief Spaulding arranges special things for Will Spaulding. At some point this started to bother me. At a high level, it seemed inconsistent with Will’s character (and it also somewhat weakened the moral fiber of the “good guys”). While I liked the “father-son” chat in C-7/C-8, the frequent inclusion of Chief Spaulding helping Will in one way or another (with some of these assists being borderline legal) started to get disturbing.

There were a couple of places where I think reality was pushed too hard to make the storyline work. More specifically, after the bank robbery in C-24, the criminals manage to escape, even in the presence of four officers/agents. Hard to believe that they’d be so incompetent! Another issue was around Will unlocking and searching Alter’s apartment without a warrant. While his position on the case would most likely allow him to enter Kendra’s apartment or cross crime tape (as he did several times) entering the apartment of a boyfriend (whether a suspect or not) would seem to be illegal without a warrant. There was also the bit about puncturing a Camaro gas tank with a knife, which I’m skeptical about (drill yes, knife? At that angle?). Last, but not least, Cheryl seems more like a 1950s idealized female than a real person (in my opinion she sticks out quite a bit in contrast to the other more realistic female characters in the story).

Finally, there is one thread that I can’t decide if it is unrealistic or a subtle shooter’s joke, but I’m inclined to the latter. More specifically, in C-44, Chelmin shows pictures of four dead individuals (all killed with a perfect head shot) to elicit information from one of the criminals that wasn’t shot. Two of these individuals were killed with perfect head shots by Chelmin with an unmodified .357 pistol at ~200 yards during a moving action (C-33). Hmmph! (The other two were shot under better conditions and somewhat sneaked under my reality-wire). I went back and forth on this, but I’m inclined to believe this whole “head shot” thing is a subtle shooters joke (as supported by various semi-humorous comments throughout the book about these two kills).
 

Nina S. ★★★★

Posted 3/14/20

 

I admit that it was the cover that attracted me to this book and a part of me did expect a totally different story. The blurb also did not give me much to go on. Not that I’m complaining. I do like surprises. But not every reader can be that adventurous. I am not always that adventurous myself.

So as fascinating as the cover may be, I can’t help thinking how ill-suited it is to the story contained within this book, and that it’s making the book miss out on its intended audience. And that’s just sad, because Special was such a pleasant surprise for me.

Hope Goodman lives in a world where normal means having superhuman abilities: the kind that typical superheroes have. And what makes her special in this kind of society is that she’s nothing special at all. Despite coming from an impressive lineage, Hope ends up getting the short end of the stick. She’s born with a rare type of genetic condition—so rare that it was named after the paediatrician who diagnosed her—that keeps her from manifesting any superhuman ability. Nope, not even a teeny-tiny spark of it.

Her mom, however, refuses to give up and is pretty adamant about getting her all possible types of treatment out there. Elle Goodman has her reasons for doing this, and that scene where she finally put into words her deep-seated guilt, is just one of a handful of really touching family interactions in this book that gripped at my heart, poked at my soul, and brought genuine tears to my eyes.

Add to this the kind of treatment Hope gets from school, where she has been dubbed as “Hopeless,” lumped in with the “maladroit” losers, loses her best friend to the reigning clique, and unintentionally inspires a villain’s rebellious ideals. Yaiks! That’s a lot to deal with for a girl of fifteen. And where this book really shines is in how it allowed the old Hope to break apart so that a new and stronger version can emerge. I liked that it didn’t dwell too long on the drama, but instead managed to really dig deep with a few well chosen words.

And although all the sciencey stuffs just made my head spin in an axis not its own, I do admire the diligence that was used in putting them all together in a way that made it all believable to a layman like me.

One thing that didn’t really sit well with me, though, is the in-story book called, “The Hunter’s Curse.” Although it did eventually play a role in the story, I was hoping for a more concrete representation of it. Something that’s not just implied in the characters’ opinions of the book and its movie adaptation (which really felt like wasted wordcount to me), but is instead shown in some way – perhaps a scene, a passage from “The Hunter’s Curse” itself, etc. Just something to make it really exist in the story instead of merely serving as a point of comparison.

So, does Hope eventually get her own superpower? Then again, will it even really matter in the end?

Because beyond the superhero stuffs, Special is really about finding one’s truth, voice and courage in a world that tries to stifle uniqueness with blind conformity. And more than the superpowers, the value of being true to herself is the most important thing that Hope needs to learn.

Elle Goodman herself says it best: “Normal is boring. You are special.”

I received a digital copy of this book to review from the author via Vibe Reviews.

Gchat m. ★★★★

Posted 4/3/20

 

The temple, under pastor John, continues to control everything in town. The monsters continue to terrorize the streets. The other leaders of the temple are trying to oust pastor John. The key to everything lies in a alien artifact. Will Michael be able to uncover the mystery of the artifact, while keeping his family safe.

What is new about this sequel, is more of the graphic action.

KAYE. ★★★★★

Posted 4/13/20

 

Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2020

Holy hell! Christy blazes through on a flaming inferno, kicking ass and taking names, riding on the wings of vengeance and busting the gates of hell wide open, melding this bad boy together seamlessly. A tumultuous whirlwind full of unsettling mishaps and unpredictable circumstances, catapulting those churning emotions into play, hooking you from start to finish. One wild action packed, hard hitting, pulse racing, heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, nailbiting, block busting bombshell, propelling this glittering gem to life spectacularly. Maneuvering through intimidating trials and challenging tribulations, noting the shocking twists and wicked turns, testing our characters in ways they could have never envisioned. Sparks fly as drama, intrigue, tension, turmoil, danger, underlying currents, mounting suspense and nerve racking situations along with a boatload of danger while dodging evil intents, you have one mind-blowing masterpiece. Anarchy, escapades and havoc run amuck, booting this gem into a tempest, bursting it into a hissy with a life-altering culmination. The characters, banter, interactions, charged atmosphere along with relatable qualities and individual traits, blend and flow, transforming into genuinely approachable personalities. The scenes are written with such realism, impressive passion, imagination and unique insight, blasts this sparkling jewel wide open, making the storyline pop. Amazing job Christy, thanks for sharing this treasure with us.

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

WHALE MOON. ★★★★★

Posted 4/13/20

This may be the most creative book I’ve read in quite some time. It is well-written, features a host of unusual and non-stereotypical characters, possesses a clever and imaginative setting, and (very unusual for modern fiction) includes both original verse AND (as near as I can tell, at least) original illustrations.

Disclaimer before I go on: 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 choice alone.

There were quite a number of things noteworthy about this book. To begin with, the characters are unusually fresh and imaginative. Consider as one example, the sharkling “Mako”. Mako is not merely a rewrite of Celtic Selkie tales, she is (indisputably) her own fresh and vivid personality. From her rows of sharp teeth, through her considering her egg-cases to be “promises”, to her vivid and unconventional conversational style – Mako is unique, original, and thoroughly unpredictable.

This same originality follows through to the other characters. While I will leave much of this for the reader to discover, I can’t resist mentioning my favorite character, the Hermit Djinn. This character is a delightful fusion of a hermit crab and a genie. He (she?) lives in a whalebone comb, and is exceptionally intelligent (particularly for a crustacean!). While I enjoyed the entire book a great deal, I particularly enjoyed the reading of the antics of the Hermit Djinn in rescuing Mako and Phehl from the Fartrader. The scene was creative and fantastical, but (somehow?) simultaneously managed to feel amazingly realistic.

The setting is also clever and creative. As the author mentions in his Afterword (Message in a Bottle) as well as in his Q&A section, the setting was inspired by the ecology of the Florida Keys. However, it is quite a bit more than a dressed-up version of a real ecology, as there are these elegant creative twists which enliven and richen the story. Two of many examples are the “trundle crabs” (which carry off Phehl’s whalebones) and the plankturtles (with shells so large the islanders use them as surfboards). Overall, the author manages to create the sense of a real and vibrant world (with a genuine and realistic ecology) while still maintaining the allure and magic of a fantasy novel.

My only criticism of the novel is that it ended! The reader gets all wrapped up in the intriguing setting, the imaginative characters, and the evolving sense of a grand quest about to begin – and the book stops! GAH! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

CYNTHIA G. ★★★★

Posted 4/13/20

 

Great book about a BIG mistake and how the Reaper tried to fix her mistake. Great story line and characters. Was hard to put down. Wonderful quick ready that are sure to enjoy - looking forward to next book

Cynthia G. ★★★★★

Posted 4/20/20

 

The Royal Occult is set in Victorian England. It is about Asia – a beautiful grey-eyed woman that works in a brothel & Mr. Blond (Evander) – a man that hires her for a week. It involves the paranormal, witches, and mystery. The twists and turns and the unknown are always around the corner.

I loved the way Asia described the other men from the brothel – needing Brandy to quicken their performance – LOL… and when she said that she might experience real pleasure with Mr. Blond – I could absolutely feel their attraction in the words written. They drew me into the story, I felt the pull in my heart too - throughout the entire book.

Asia’s love – although she never mentions the word – for Mr. Blond is so heartfelt at the end I wanted to cry.
I can hardly wait for the next book…

Emily S. ★★★★★

Posted 4/20/20

 

I love the Native American aspects of this thrilling adventure. Highly recommended

Emily S. ★★★★★

Posted 4/20/20

 

This sequel is a brilliant and exciting continuation in a series that never fails to deliver suspenseful storytelling. Highly recommended.

TAMARA D. ★★

Posted 4/20/20  

 

The author graciously gave me a copy of this book for me to review, which I do without bias or judgment.

The main characters of this book are well thought out and the story is not bad. For me, the language is a barrier, because its quite foreign to me. I read aloud with most of the things that I read, and I sound ridiculous to my own ears.

The author seems rather new to writing, as many of the sentences seem rather choppy and there are a bunch of small things that have been missed by the proof reader.

It took me a couple of tries to get past the first couple of chapters, but I got through it, and by the end I was a bit more at ease with the language barriers.

HEIDI M. ★★★★★

Posted 4/22/20

I was given the book Broomstick free with the intention that I would give an honest review

Candence and her best friend are away at college. They discover witches, ghosts and Evil.

The book has a lot of potential and I think the book will do well with the YA readers and the Wicca readers. We have drama, suspense, romance and it wraps up without a cliffhanger.

Cynthia G. ★★★★

Posted 4/27/20

 

Cadence’s (“Katie”) love for her friend Madison (Maddie) and her extreme like of her Student Advisor Bryce (Tall, Dark, and Handsome as she call him) - as well as her own interest in magic and sorcery - draws her into the ‘Human Study Group’.

Kind of all over the place because Katie can’t decide if she believes in Witches and Warlocks or if the ‘cult’ is only a sex induced threat to the members.

Even being said – I finished this in one day – I couldn’t put it down wanting to know what was going to happen next. And even though I am a ‘seasoned reader’ I enjoyed this young adult college paranormal romance & absolutely LOVED Katie’s choice of music!

jack k. ★★★★★

Posted 4/27/20  

 

This is an interesting piece of historical fiction centered on the head-on collision of a passenger train and a coal freight train in Dotsero (Colorado) on January 15, 1909. The “wrapper” narrative is an era-appropriate description of a young woman (Hannah) marrying to get out of Iowa coal town poverty, traveling by train to her new life with her new husband (Ethan McShane) on a farm in Colorado, and being one of the passengers affected by the accident.

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 number of things that I liked about this book.

To begin with, the book had a number of rich descriptions about the early 1900s and the lifestyle of that era. The author did a good job of portraying the cost of items, the mix between home-made and purchased items, the clothing styles, the level of manufacturing, and the like for the era. The author also did a good job of portraying the differences between various classes of society (i.e. Hannah as the daughter of a poor coal miner, versus Ethan McShane as the son of a well-off farmer).

The author also did a good job of dramatizing the wreck itself, both in the details of the actual wreck and its aftermath, and in the details of the various individuals involved. Her descriptions of the lives of the various key individuals (the conductor, the engineer, the nurses, and so on) provides a richer background for the story than just the bare outlines available from the newspapers of the era.

Amazingly, in spite of being a story about a horrific train wreck, the story has an overall optimistic feel.

The author also mentions a personal connection to the story in the afterwards.

However, there are some things for readers to be aware of.

The book has a slow build-up. The first half of the book is focused on character set-up (roughly chapters 1-6) and situation set-up (roughly chapters 8-12). The train wreck itself doesn’t occur until around chapter 13. This can leave readers doing a bit of “thumb-twiddling” around chapter 10 or so.

The book is primarily about the lifestyle of the era itself and the human relationships surrounding the train wreck. It is not about the engineering technology or management of the rail system of the early 1900s. As such, individuals interested in the engineering details (descriptions of the locomotive itself, engine design, track technology, etc.) should look elsewhere.

Scarolet e. ★★★★★

Posted 4/30/20

Screamcatcher: Dream Chasers by Christy J. Breedlove is a wonderful story written by a brand new author for me to read. I loved reading this story and can not wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend this story to all.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Travis p. ★★★★★

Posted 4/30/20

 

This was an interesting read. I had read the first book but it had been a while and it took me a few pages to get into the story since I didn't immediately remember the characters. The story is easy to follow so even if you haven't read the first book you should be able to understand the story. A small town, Stone Hill, has been taken over by a cult. Monsters roam the streets at night and the cult has control over who enters or leaves the town. A few people are fighting to be free from the cult. This is the story of those people. The cult leader has supernatural powers and the group must fight him. There is no sex but there may be language. I would not recommend for children since there is a lot of violence. The book does not end on a cliffhanger but does seem to set up for a sequel. I hope there is a sequel because there are still a lot of questions about the origin of the monsters. There are some horror elements but this is more of a supernatural action story.

GCHAT M. ★★★★★

Posted 5/14/20

 

Sean is a model, suffering from cystic fibrosis. His life goes through ups and downs as he copes with his health, his family, his relatives and his ghosts.

A bitter - sweet read.

Kaye. ★★★★★

Posted 5/18/20 

 

ONE UNBELIEVABLE JOURNEY!!!
Superb! Mary brings all the feels, unleashing this beautifully composed piece of perfection, laying out one arresting storyline and gripping plot, pouring out the heart and soul with on point realism so rich and vivid, wrapping this little fella up seamlessly. Quirky mishaps and surprising circumstances, alongside the intimidating trials and challenging tribulations, noting the startling twists and sleek turns, jolting our characters off kilter, testing them in ways they could have never imagined. Satisfaction is an understatement, exposing such intensity and precision, riding those churning emotions and imparting one heart soaring wonder. Rolling with the drama, intrigue, turmoil, spiraling suspense and precarious situations, along with a boatload of determination, you have one life-changing culmination. Braided, bound and entangled, showcasing the explosive ups and agonizing downs, grounding in it's strength and awe inspiring in it's depth. You feel everything the characters feel, you become part of the experience instead of on the sideline. The characters, banter, dialogue, interactions and charged atmosphere along with relatable qualities and individual traits, blend and flow, transforming into genuine charismatic personalities. The scenes are so colorfully descriptive to give you a full understanding and realism that blend and flows smoothly. Fantastic job Mary, thanks for sharing this little guy with us.

 

Jack k. ★★★

Posted 5/28/20  

Frankly, I have significant mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it has a clever premise and some well-executed scenes (particularly in the latter half of the book). On the other hand, the conclusion is disappointing and there are some editorial and structural issues with the writing.

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.

The top three things I liked.

The starting concept: The “children” themselves are humans transformed to near immortality by the actions of the “blue orb”. This is an interesting starting concept as it allows for storytelling centered on the interaction of the “immortals” with regular humans. (After all, a lot of the excitement of the Greek myths is pretty much the same thing – immortals interacting with normal humans!)

The tension between the good guys and the bad guy. The “immortals” (perhaps inevitably) are split into “good guys/gals” (Zemty/Usaphis/Mehit etc.) and the bad guy (Ashkulid). The “bad guy” is really “bad”, having gotten into the habit of killing his own children in order to replace them (as they age and he doesn’t). However, unlike most cops and robbers stories, these particular immortals are extremely hard to kill (detached body parts will reassemble and the like) and thus the task of immortal “good guys” chasing and dealing with an immortal “bad guy” is imbued with some significant limitations on just how you get rid of the “bad guy” (no, you just can’t shoot him, stab him, drown him in the sea, or the like).

Historical asides: The origin of the “immortals” permits some interesting historical vignettes to add color to the story.

The top three things I found challenging (note there are significant spoilers in the following):

I found the conclusion disappointing. Of all the places I expected the book to go, having the immortals end up in “therapy” (sponsored by other immortals, no less) was unfulfilling. The key tension in the story is the conflict between Usaphis and Ashkulid (with a distinct focus on Ashkulid’s unethical killing his own children) and I expected something innovative in the conclusion that would pull together all the disparate threads of the story (like his kids figure it out, set a trap baited with Mehit, dismember him, and use his body parts for the foundation of a temple shaped like a pyramid, or something). But no. Therapy.

I found the number of characters excessive. There are 11 immortals in the Gold group, 5 immortals in the Silver group, 3 immortals in the Bronze group (that makes 19 immortals), the two primary characters (Kate and Harmon), a number of committee members who are “good guys” (Omar, Darkling, Randolph), other good guys (McFarland), committee members who are “bad guys” (Brownridge), several supervisors for Harmon, Harmon’s family, Kates family (which turns out to overlap other characters as Kate’s biological father is an immortal), a variety of secondary characters (sheriffs, marina operators, etc.) and many others that I forgot to make notes on. This problem is exaggerated by several of the key immortals having different names at different times in the story (the immortal Zemty is Briggs, Kate’s father, a WW II pilot, Reese (and/or Reece) - and I think had at least one more identity that I forgot to write down). While this genre DOES tend to have more characters than many other genres (witnesses, sheriffs and the like) this still seems excessive.

There are POV challenges: The author switches point of view (POV) frequently. Unfortunately, the author often signals a POV switch simply with the pronoun “he” (no proper name) followed by some action. While the author may be doing this as a mechanism to increase mystery with the immortals, I would debate the success of this strategy (note also chapters like C35 where this issue also appears with regards to non-immortal characters). Unfortunately, with about 30-something male characters in the story; the reader frequently has to stop, backtrack, and puzzle out where the POV went, before moving forward.

Kristin y. ★★★★

Posted 11/7/19  

 

Wow-I, really, enjoyed this book. I should mention, that I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, nor any by this author, before. I went into it, slightly concerned it would be a typical, formulaic romance and it, pleasantly, surprised me! Ms. Redford kept it moving at a good pace, while keeping it heartfelt( and hot). I read long into the night(& early morning) because I wanted to see how things would play out. A quick overview: a lawyer who is acquaintances with a younger professional hockey player ends up running into him in a secluded cabin area while he’s recovering from his hockey season. They both start to see each other differently and develop amazing chemistry. (The tension was palpable!) Then, they have to come back to their city, everyday lives, friends, etc. and decide if they'll continue seeing each other and how that will happen or if it should happen. The main characters were interesting and she addressed the whole age-discrepancy in a relationship, in a way that spoke more to maturity/life phase vs. stressing the number gap, as many books with a woman older than the love interest do. There was, also, the issue of one being a public sports figure, while the other was in a field dominated by “book smarts”. I found the characters’ thoughts to be believable and honest. The story was emotional, but, not sappy. The end wrapped up a little, too, rapidly, for me-I would’ve liked more insight into the characters’ experiences with how things were between them, at the conclusion of the book. How they addressed some of the previously mentioned issues. Still, it was an enjoyable read and I’ll be looking at the previous books in the series!

Julie W. ★★★★

Posted 11/11/19  

 

This was a fun read. A new view on the zombie trope. I was laughing so much, when the main character devoured her veggies! Don't expect anything scary. But if you like zombies, read this novella.

Jennifer P. ★★★★

Posted 11/12/19  

 

I was given a copy for an honest review. I wish I could rate this in different parts. Base story is a 4 although it seems to end abruptly and leave parts hanging. Cora is definitely vicious. She's also all over the place, hard to figure out what her personality is. If you don't like colorful language and very adult situations then it may not be for you. I am very conflicted on this one.

Christina B. ★★★★

Posted 11/16/19  

 

I enjoy reading books about the Gods/Immortals interacting with humans. And this one did not disappoint. Cora also known as Persephone has suffered much in her long existence. All she wants is to be cared for. With lots of twists and turns, Cora finally gets her wish. I voluntarily read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Trina H. ★★★

Posted 11/27/19  

 

Once I got over the overly-descriptive descriptions, I liked this story quite a bit. As promised, it IS a roller coaster ride, and quite the fun one!

Narvix is a hilarious protagonist who finds himself like the proverbial fish out of water, making for a very entertaining read. Reading about him trying to tackle everything that came his way had me in stitches! And his costars were fun, as well. I really don't think there were any characters that were a waste of ink - pixels? - like they are in some books I've read.

As entertaining as the story was, the tome still has some issues. As others have mentioned, the descriptions are just way too in-depth, and I found myself grazing over them time and again. Also - and this was even more irritating for me - this book is in a major need of editing. Name an error, and this book has it; missing or extra words, punctuation issues, misspellings, problems with homophones and homonyms were all noted. If Maxwell got an editor who's not afraid to pull out the red pen - font? - this tale could easily be a 5-star yarn.

al P. ★★★★

Posted 12/10/19  

 

Cora is one of the most interesting takes of all the recent genre based upon Greek mythology. If you can get past the language, sexual situations and violence, you will find one of the most unique recounting of Persephone that you will ever read. Her character in this story would not be possible without all of those potential offensive scenes because it further develops how her sad past has made her into what is left of her today.

Christi G. ★★★★

Posted 12/18/19 

 

The Melody of Three was not a quick read for me. It took me a while to get into the rhythm, especially in the parts devoted to Rein. Aside from that, I enjoyed it. It has humor, epic adventure, a good story and some nice plot twists. I must confess, Higgins had me very intrigued. This is one of those books that I will be reading again in order to savor the little nuances.

© 2019 by Vibrant Designs. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon