Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jacqueline's review of Come Away With Me by Ruth Cardello

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of -- Come Away With Me (The Andrades) by Ruth Cardello

Overall star rating --- 3


About the book:
Gio Andrade: 
Rich, powerful, sexy. A man who thinks he has everything . . . until he meets Julia. 

Julia Bennett: 
Sweet, spontaneous, and desperate to sell her jewelry line in New York City. She takes a job as a night security guard to pay the rent. 

Sparks fly when she mistakes her boss for an intruder. 

He can’t get her out of his head. She can’t find the strength to deny him. 

Will lies bring them together or tear them apart forever? 

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 20 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 5
-- Cover & title -- 7
-- Editing & formatting -- 8
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
Although I dearly love romance books, this one didn't quite click with me. I found the female lead to be a bit too much of a na├»ve chatterbox, for one thing; and it sort of lacks spark and sizzle. It's a solid,  standard romance book; but it has the feel of a continued series. It was like I had missed a part of the story somewhere in another book. Overall, it's a good book, but the whole family conflict thing could have been explained more. Like I said, it had the feel that there were . . . . parts missing? Blanks here and there? It just didn't really click for me. Not a bad book, but not a great one either.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- romance
Age recommendations -- 18 plus
Sex content rating -- moderate
Violence rating -- mild

Links for the book:

Buy it on Amazon

Author's Amazon page

Author's facebook page

Author's website

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jacqueline's review of The Texan's Irish Bride by Caroline Clemmons

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of -- The Texan's Irish Bride (The McClintocks Book 1) by Caroline Clemmons

Overall star rating, from 1-5 ---> 5

About the book:
Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas, but she agrees to wed the handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams. 

Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything—even when her wild, eccentric family drives crazy. 

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 30 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 10
-- Cover & title -- 10
-- Editing & formatting -- 10

The review
This was an awesome book! I totally loved it. I got it as a free download on Amazon when browsing the store on my kindle one night. It's a romance story set in the old west, and the author totally nails it. The characters were wonderful, and the story was too. This is a great romance book that has a happily ever after ending, and everything else you could want. She is an awesome writer, and doesn't miss a beat. If you are wanting a good romance to settle down with, this is it.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- old west romance
Age recommendations -- 18 plus
Sex content rating -- mild
Violence rating -- between mild and moderate

Links for the book:

Buy it on Amazon

Author's Amazon page

Author's facebook page

Author's website

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Shadow's review of Star Maps by J.S. Frankel

Reviewed by -- Shadow Walker

Book Review of -- Star Maps by J.S. Frankel

Overall star rating --- 5

About the book:
Seeing is believing, and when Carl Thornton, seventeen-year-old UFO enthusiast and high school nerd, sees a double of his homeroom teacher, he knows that something is not quite right. 

Then again, he lives in Rachel, Nevada, the area known as 'UFO Central'. Formerly from Chicago, he came to live with his alcoholic uncle after the untimely death of his parents. His fondest wish is to gaze at the stars and see a UFO. 

Wish granted on both counts, as he meets Grace Paxton, a high school junior and a recent transfer student. Through a series of circumstances, he discovers that Grace is a shape-shifting alien, a Theriantan, and once he's with her and her people, he learns the real reason for Area 51, the secrets it holds... and the danger that lurks beyond. 

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 29 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 10
-- Cover & title -- 10
-- Editing & formatting -- 9
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
The three page Prologue sets the stage for this 5 Star Science Fiction Adventure. The opening pages are filled with strong imagery and begs the question, "How did Carl get here and where's here?" The answers aren't fully known until near the end of the book. The author hooked me with the opening paragraph, and I finished the book in two sessions. It's 120 pages of quality reading that you will enjoy.

The author shows great skill in developing all the characters in his story from Carl through General Waterston. He doesn't just mention the characters, but he shares insights and moments into the often mentioned characters of the book. I found myself fully invested in Carl and his friends throughout the story. I found this book easy to read and follow. The use of imagery and sentence structure really made this a fun book to read. I could tell the author has a strong command of the English language and vocabulary. His use of words made me see the action in my mind and I couldn't stop reading the book. I think that's the highest compliment I could pay any author.

The pace of the book was very good. Have you ever read a book where the scenes seemed hurried and incomplete? The pace was never hurried, but it never dragged either. I felt like the author and I took a nice leisurely walk today. His movement back and forth through time were skillfully done. We stopped and looked at scenes being played out in peoples lives before moving on. Some things made me mad, then others happy, and other times I wanted to join in, but we kept walking at that nice summertime pace. We were walking toward the conclusion of the story.        

I really think many books suffer today from incomplete stories. The author gives you an exciting ending to this story. I won't say another word about the ending of this book except get it!  Enjoy. I want some Strawberry Ice Cream now after that book.         

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Science Fiction Adventure.        
Age recommendations -- 6th grade through adulthood. It could serve as a great introductory work into the science fiction world, or an excellent addition for the mature reader.        
Sex content rating -- None        
Violence rating -- Mild                                                

Links for the book:

Buy it on Amazon

Author's Amazon page

Author's facebook page

Author's website

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jacqueline's review of The Heartland Trilogy by Chuck Wendig

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of -- The Heartland Trilogy by Chuck Wendig

Overall star rating for the series --- 3.5

About the book:
Book 1 - Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It's the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow—and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables. But Cael's tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas.

Book 2 - He’s heading toward the Empyrean to rescue his sister, Merelda, and to find Gwennie before she’s lost to Cael forever. With his pals, Lane and Rigo, Cael journeys across the Heartland to catch a ride into the sky. But with Boyland and others after them, Cael and his friends won’t make it through unchanged.

Book 3 - It’s been a year since the Saranyu flotilla fell from the sky, and life in the Heartland has changed. Gone are the Obligations and the Harvest Home festivals. In their place is a spate of dead towns, the former inhabitants forced into mechanical bodies to serve the Empyrean—and crush the Heartland.

When Cael awakens from a Blightborn sleep, miles away from the world he remembers, he sets out across the Heartland to gather his friends for one last mission.  
  
Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 27 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 8
-- Cover & title --10
-- Editing & formatting -- 9
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
Under the Empyrean Sky (Book 1) 

This book introduces you to the world that the author has created, to a world of haves and have-nots. The haves are called Empyreans, and live in floating cities among the clouds. They have anything and everything they want, and believe that they deserve it. While on the ground, that is where the Heartlanders live, and it is a back-breaking, life-sucking existence. The characters and the world are fascinating, and very vivid; but it is the characters that drew me in. The corn is the real telling thing, and calls to mind scientists tinkering with crops. The corn is a very virulent strain that grows through and around almost everything, and almost seems alive. It dominates the ground, and is the real central figure in not only this book, but this series.

Blightborn (Book 2) 

This book is equally as good as the first book, but does very distinctly remind me of the Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back. I call that the 'anything that can go wrong will go wrong' movie; and that's sort of what happens in this book. Things don't go like everyone hoped for, and stuff comes apart at the seams to a great extent. But it builds great interest as to how things will wind up in the third book. It's a very good book, but the violence begins to amp up in this book. 

The Harvest, book 3

This last book in the series starts out with all the characters from the first 2 books all scattered around, and most thinking Cael is dead. But they manage to hear about each other, some find each other, and one gets captured, and one gets dead, and Cael gets caught between 2 women. I don't like it as much as the first 2, as the violence is prevalent throughout this book, and dominates it. There are characters killed off that I feel is a mistake, as I thought the book was better with them alive. They made it all the way through the first 2 books, to be killed off in this book. Also, I didn't care for how it ended, as it was rather abrupt; and it felt more like the book just stopped, rather than concluded. And the epilogue seems more intended to set up more books in this series, than finishing this book up.

In conclusion, about the series
This series starts out good, and goes somewhat downhill in my opinion. The biggest thing that I object to is that this is a series for young adults, for teens. HOGWASH! This is a series for adults, and certainly not for anyone under the age of 18. There is very minor sex content in the whole series, but the violence gradually increases throughout the series, to the point where it is quite gruesome and graphic in the third book. At one point in the series, the Empyreans start taking human beings, and encasing them in metal shells and turning them into robots. This is definitely not a series for young adults, but for adults.

I started out really liking it a lot, but by the time I got to the 3rd book, I just wanted to find out how it all ended and finish the book, and move on to something else.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- science fiction/horror
Age recommendations -- 18 plus
Sex content rating -- very mild
Violence rating -- gruesome, intense, extremely high, escalates in intensity from book 1 to book 3

Links for the book:

Buy it on Amazon

Author's Amazon page

Author's twitter

Author's website

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shannan's review of The Adventures of Sammy the Turtle by Pam Funke

Reviewed by -- Shannan Williams     
   
Book Review of -- Where Did I Come From, The Adventures of Sammy the Turtle by Pam Funke       

My overall star rating --- 5     
   


About the book:
Meet Sammy the turtle. Sammy is a baby turtle who is all alone. Where did he come from? His mother, Luna, was nowhere to be found. Where was she? Who created Sammy and his mother? Sammy goes on an adventure to not only find his mother, but to ultimately find out where he really came from.        

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 30 out of a possible 30       
-- Story & characters -- 10        
-- Cover & title -- 10        
-- Editing & formatting -- 10        
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
I just fell in love with this book. Reading about Sammy the Turtle’s journey to find his mother was heartwarming and an absolute delight. The baby turtle is very determined and doesn't ever give up. He feels that someone is watching over him and helping him along the way. This is a perfect read for young children and/or adults to read to children. They will love the adventure of Sammy the Turtle. This story is also about finding God and is a great way for children to learn about our savior. The other ocean creatures that Sammy comes into contact are perfectly described. Some are helpful, like the crab and the octopus; and some are not so helpful but all are described perfectly. Sammy's determination gets him exactly what he is looking for in the end and is a great example to all of us to never give up. I love the way the author presented this book and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. You will truly be blessed and inspired by this precious story.        

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- children's, religious        
Age recommendations -- 0-99        
Sex content rating -- none        
Violence rating -- none, a small encounter with some orca whales but totally appropriate and really not scary

Links for the book:

Buy it on Amazon

Author's Amazon page

Author's facebook page

Author's website

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Shani's review of Watchers of the Night by Matthew Keith

Reviewed by -- Shani Bush        

Book Review of -- Watchers of the Night by Matthew Keith  

My overall star rating --- 5        



About the book:
From the outside, Paul Bennett appears to be an ordinary high school senior from small-town Kentucky. But Paul has a secret. He possesses an extraordinary gift which allows him to leave his body during the night and go anywhere, see anything—unseen, undetected.

Unbeknownst to Paul, he is not alone in his ability--there are others who can do what he can, and they belong to Astralis, a government agency funded by the United Nations who train people like Paul to become spies. When one of their scouts recognizes Paul for what he is, he is offered a place in the agency.

Paul makes a new life at Astralis, forging new friendships and inadvertently creating new enemies. Through the mentoring of the agency's director, Dr. Abrams, Paul finds a place where he finally feels he belongs.

Unfortunately, Astralis is an organization under siege from within. Not everyone feels Dr. Abrams is a fit director, and some are willing to do anything to make a change of leadership--even murder.

Watchers of the Night is the first novel of the Watchers Trilogy, and ends with a cliff-hanger. You WILL be left with questions at the conclusion of this novel.        

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 26 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 10        
-- Cover & title -- 10        
-- Editing & formatting -- 6        
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
I loved the concept of mental powers. Wasn't boring, unlike most within same genre and idea. Action packed from beginning to end. I liked the world the author created, and found it to be rather interesting. The ending........... I WANT MORE, lol. Now that's a way to hook-line a person.        

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Fantasy, Sci FI        
Age recommendations -- Teen, young adult        
Sex content rating -- none         
Violence rating -- mild        

Links for the book:

Buy it on Amazon
series link

Author's Amazon page

Author's facebook page

Author's twitter

Author's website