Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jeffrey's review of Dream Angel #1: Kidnapped by Jennifer Rash

Reviewed by -- Jeffrey P Wyatt        

Book Review of --
Dream Angel #1: Kidnapped by Jennifer Rash        

Overall star rating --- 4    
    
About the book:
A young woman is thrust into the battle of her life as she learns her retired wrestling legend father has been kidnapped. Can she defeat Nyxus, her five Keres, her swarms of Reprobates, harpies and vampires to rescue him?
Join Dream Angel as she fights to protect her home world of South Bartin City and save her father!


Book creation ratings
Overall total, out of 30 possible -- 24
-- Story & characters -- 8        
-- 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 --
**WARNING THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS**
This is actually the Author's remake of the first book in her Superhero 3D graphic novel series: Dream Angel. I chose to review this version instead of the original as this reflects her most recent work.

I liked that this story started differently than many SuperHero/SuperHeroine books. Instead of starting with her origin story, we pick up with her just recently graduated from high school, and having been doing her adventures for 3 years. It begins with a major turning point in her career with the SuperVillain's figuring out her secret identity and capturing her father. We get introduced to the major players pretty quickly leading into the rescue attempt.

The 3D art style is new and rarely done in graphic novels, and the author here does a very good job of each character looking different and having their own voice. The story moves quickly to give the setup for the good and evil sides, although there are a few minor errors in the text here and there. It ends on a cliffhanger, making you very interested to see what happens in #2. The humor is pretty good, but not overused, more like quips, which for this genre, is completely appropriate. Most graphic novels these days are put together by a team, but this was all done by one person, which makes it more impressive. The only things keeping it from being a 5 are some minor plot holes in the conversations between characters. Nothing major or that pulls you out, but noticeable upon multiple read-throughs. For anyone who loves the Superheroine and/or Magical girl Genre, I definitely give this book a rating of buy it and read it.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Superhero/Superheroine; Graphic Novel        
Age recommendations -- 10 and up        
Sex content rating -- None        
Violence rating -- mild to moderate        

** The author's links **

Amazon


Amazon author page

Facebook
Facebook group
Facebook fan page                        

Websites
-The Author's main site where the entire series an be purchased, as well as a variety of dolls and etc... from the entire series.
-indyplanet sells print versions of all her series.
blog with doll store

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Shannan's review of A Valley Experience by Pam Funke

Reviewed by -- Shannan Williams        

Book Review of --
A Valley Experience by Pam Funke
        
My overall star rating --- 5   
     
About the book:
Meet Brianca Euley, a girl who goes through life searching for love. She searches in all the wrong places--in the clubs, with various men, everywhere except where true unconditional love waits for her. Will she ever learn that what is missing from her life is God? How far down this path of destruction will she go before she reaches out to God?


Book creation ratings:
Overall total out of a possible 30 --  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 --
This book captivated me from the very beginning and held my interest throughout the whole thing. The author has a style of writing that just pulls you in and keeps you hanging on.I literally did not put the book down, as I read it straight through. I just had to find out what was going to happen to Brianca next. This poor girl, about 17, had a very difficult couple years.  She just got in one mess after another and was very fortunate to get out eventually, of each incident. This book deals with real life situations and I think that was it  that drew me in. It dealt with heartache, loss, suffering, abuse, lies, strength, determination, feeling of a failure, etc... I could go on and on. This book really tugged at the heart strings.        There were times throughout the book that I was hanging onto my seat wondering what was going to happen to this poor girl next. There were also several times that I didn't think the book was going to end on a positive note. But thankfully, Brianca was able to get out of the bad and it ended up on a very good note. This book gets full points from me on every aspect. I would love to read more by this author. I highly recommend this book in order for people to be made aware of what can happen when you make bad decisions.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- christian fiction        
Age recommendations -- 16        
Sex content rating -- Deals with being raped        
Violence rating -- moderate                

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

Facebook page

Website

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shadow's review of Catnip by J.S. Frankel

Reviewed by -- Shadow Walker

Book Review of --
Catnip by J.S. Frankel        

Overall star rating --- 5.5  
      
About the book:
Harry Goldman, teenage DNA researcher, genius, and total nerd, is thrown into jail for illegal transgenic research. Freed by the FBI on the condition he works under their aegis, Harry is taken to New York where he meets Anastasia, a cat-girl and the product of transgenic engineering. No sooner do they get acquainted then they are attacked by another creature, a bear which is more than a bear, and are forced to flee for their lives. Along the way, they encounter furries, Doug the Dog, find out that they are more into each other emotionally than they’re willing to admit, and end up in the Catskill Mountains where Harry finds out the shocking truth about how Anastasia was created...and what she was created for.

Book creation ratings:
* Max. total of 30 possible *
Overall total, out of 30 -- 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 --
Harry Goldman is a boy genius who finds himself struggling with the challenges of growing up. He is the son of a scientist and follows in his father's footsteps. Those footsteps lead him into the adventure of a lifetime. The author invites the reader to join in on the journey.

The book is well written and the editing is superb. Top quality by an author of great skill, and his effort doesn't disappoint the readers of this fast paced adventure. He shows his skill and knowledge of a difficult subject while spinning it into a life situation. It will leave you with a hunger to read the next page. Very enjoyable work.

Slight romance, tastefully done, and some violent scenes that are graphic but within reason, given the nature of the book. We see a boy taking his first steps into adulthood.

The book is filled with many colorful characters who help our heroes along the way. The author shows, once again, his mastery of developing characters within the story. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

The book has a definite ending for the story, but the promise of a second book presents itself. I never reveal the endings of books, but this one has a thrilling ending. Get comfortable and enjoy a real good book. Happy reading!!!
                
Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Science Fiction/Adventure.        
Age recommendations -- 13 through Adult.        
Sex content rating -- Mild.        
Violence rating -- Moderate.                                                                

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

Facebook page

Website

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jacqueline's review of King's Envoy by Cas Peace

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of -- King's Envoy by Cas Peace

Overall star rating --- 5


About the book:
Taran Elijah's quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world. In Albia, the fourth realm, the precious Artesan gift is dying. Although born to the craft, Taran is struggling to achieve his potential. Against his friends' advice, he embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. Alone, he crosses into Andaryon, the fifth realm, but instead of finding a mentor, he stumbles upon a treacherous plot. In the wake of Taran's actions, Albia suffers a series of vicious raids. Major Sullyan of the High King's forces is sent to oppose them. But a dark and treacherous force is moving through the realms and both Taran and Sullyan will feel its power. Their craft, the lives of their friends, the very existence of their realm are under threat unless they expose and oppose the evil.

Book creation ratings:
Overall total --  26  out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 9
-- Cover & title -- 9
-- Editing & formatting -- 8
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
This book is very well written and very well edited also. It has a cast of fascinating characters that totally draw you in. This is no. 1 of a series, and not a standalone book, but it is a very good book. The book, to a great extent, serves as an introduction to the characters and the setting of the book. It is a series well worth checking out.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- fantasy
Age recommendations -- 17 plus
Sex content rating -- minimal
Violence rating -- moderate





Saturday, January 16, 2016

Rich's review of Binge Eating Guide by George K.

Reviewed by -- Rich M.
        
Book Review of -- Binge Eating: The Ultimate Guide To Overcome Food Addiction by George K.

My overall star rating --- 3


About the book:
In "The Ultimate Guide To Overcome Food Addiction, Overeating And Binge Eating", you will learn specific step-by-step strategies to help you to overcome any Craving or urge to Overeat or Binge eat. While many books will tell you not to eat certain foods and give you strategies to help you stop consuming them, they only deal with symptoms and not the root cause. The source of binge eating or food addiction can be a variety of factors, such as having certain emotions trigger a binge (like being depressed, sad, bored, or tired), or it could be a deficiency in certain nutrients, or it could be just a pattern that you've conditioned in the past.

Book creation ratings:
Overall total -- 19 out of a possible 30
-- Story & characters -- 5
-- Cover & title -- 8
-- Editing & formatting -- 6
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
This wasn't a bad overview of an attempt to give advice on food addiction (overeating), and is not a bad read either. It's all pretty much common sense, though, and there is little here that anyone with a modicum of that (rare I admit nowadays), will necessarily find useful. There are some interesting points made, particularly on eating the right foods that make you feel full (something I admit I never really considered). However, unless I missed it, there is nothing on the importance of seeing your doctor before you begin any sort of program like this. Visualization (or positive re-enforcement, whatever they call it today) is one of the points mentioned for motivating you to eat better. While I know Scott Adams had a lot of success with it, that's almost too new age-y to include in a primer like this. I like the pictures of the dogs at the end of the book. The formatting is a bit lacking. As I've said before, it's readable, but it's in a block paragraph format, with extremely small line spaces between paragraphs. I read this on a Kindle Fire and it was hard to discern at times where paragraphs ended, making it seem a page of text. Probably not. I dislike authors, particularly self-help authors, who use such moronic pseudonyms, like "George K.". If this is a workable system, use your real name, man!        

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Self-help - dieting        
Age recommendations -- Adult        
Sex content rating -- N/A        
Violence rating -- N/A                                                        

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

Website

Twitter

Friday, January 8, 2016

Jacqueline's review of The Phantom of the Earth by Raeden Zen

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of --
The Phantom of the Earth (Books 1-5 Omnibus Edition) by Raeden Zen

Overall star rating --- 2.5


About the book:
The Phantom of the Earth Omnibus Edition combines the first five books of the Phantom Series in one package, including (in proper reading order): The Song of the Jubilee, The Gambit with Perfection, The Synthesis and the Animus, The Descent into the Maelstrom, and The Restoration of Flaws.

In the Great Commonwealth of Beimeni, a subterranean civilization in North America, expansion long ago gave way to peace and prosperity in the face of the history's most devastating plague. Immortality is the reward for service and loyalty in Beimeni, a place where the physical blends with the metaphysical and power consolidates in the hands of those with a genetic edge. The fissures first spread slowly, then swiftly, until now the Great Commonwealth finds itself on the brink of economic devastation, challenged by forces from within that know its secrets and its crimes. At the center of the conflict lie the Selendias of Piscator, founders of the resistance with an uncanny connection to the zeropoint field, and the BarĂ£o Strike Team, three researchers tasked with finding a cure to the Reassortment Strain, the plague that nearly wiped humanity from the Earth. Traveling from the uninhabitable but pristine surface to the habitable but inhospitable underground, this is a story about dedication to dreams, battle for survival, discovery and connection, song and celebration, undoing past misdeeds, and sacrifice for the greater good.

The Phantom of the Earth is a post-apocalyptic science fiction series. It relies heavily upon synthetic biology and quantum physics.

Book creation ratings -- Max. total of 30 possible --
Overall total, out of 30 -- 13
-- Story & characters -- 2
-- Cover & title -- 4
-- Editing & formatting -- 7
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
This is a very technical, very violent book; and I did not find the characters to be very engaging. This is a science fiction book that a scientist would enjoy, or someone who enjoys reading scientific articles. But most ordinary folk will probably have a hard time getting into this book. As for me, I simply did not like the book; which is very rare for me. There were tons of charts and appendixes in this volume. I think the book is a bit too technical to be easily enjoyed.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- very technical science fiction
Age recommendations -- 18 plus
Sex content rating -- mild
Violence rating -- intense

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

tumblr

Website

Twitter

Monday, January 4, 2016

Jonel's review of City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by -- Jonel        

Book Review of --
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

My overall star rating --- 5   
   
About the book:
In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!        

Book creation ratings:
Overall total, out of 30 -- 26        
-- Story & characters -- 9        
-- Cover & title -- 8        
-- Editing & formatting -- 9        
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
This novel is vivid & larger than life. The story itself is action paced, with vivid battles that aren’t gory & lives and loves that stand the test of time.  Clare had me laughing out loud more than once. She also broke my heart at the end. I found that the narrators of the audio version worked well side by side & really added to the tale. 

Clare writes in a way that gives adults a nice clean look at romance & allows teens to also enjoy the story (without parents going ballistic). The intimacy in this story is a key point of that. The fight scenes are similar in nature, wherein there is a battle going on, people get injured & people die but it remains somewhat inferred. Clare sets up the scenes & allows the readers to use their imaginations.

The characters really come into their own in this story.  The Jonathan/Sebastian dichotomy was complex and very enlightening. I love how prominent a place the downworlders are taking in the story. They’re no longer just fringe characters. This is multiculturalism at its finest. As for Brother Zachariah.... I think I've got that one figured out, but have to go & read the 3rd Infernal Devices now to be sure.

This is a novel that all lovers of fantasy, magic, the paranormal, urban fiction, and YA must read. I will warn you, however, that this is a series that definitely needs to be read in order.                

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- YA Urban Fantasy        
Age recommendations -- 16 - YA oriented but adults will enjoy it as well
Sex content rating -- moderate        
Violence rating -- a lot but not gory or graphic        

** The author's links for **




Amazon author page

Facebook page

Website

Twitter

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bookaholic's review of Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson

Reviewed by -- Bookaholic  
      
Book Review of --
Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson   
     
My overall star rating --- 3   

  
About the book:
In 1912, history was changed by the Miracle, when the old world of Europe was replaced by Darwinia, a strange land of nightmarish jungle and antedeluvian monsters. To some, the Miracle is an act of divine retribution; to others, it is an opportunity to carve out a new empire.
Leaving American now ruled by religious fundamentalism, young Guilford Law travels to Darwinia on a mission of discovery that will take him further than he can possibly imagine...to a shattering revelation about mankind's destiny in the universe.
Book creation ratings:
Overall total, out of 30 -- 17
-- Story & characters -- 4
-- Cover & title -- 6
-- Editing & formatting -- 9
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
This book started with an interesting premise: Europe disappears and is replaced by a primeval and alien wilderness. Unfortunately, the story itself failed to grab me. It began like an explorer's journal from 1912, heavy on description of strange lifeforms, but dry and detached. We saw only a plodding journey upriver, followed by the expected mishaps, disasters, and deaths. There was a subplot with the main protagonist's wife, and another one with an American ner-do-well who seems to commune with spirits. These plots didn't seem engaging either. The story became interesting when the alien city appeared...but then all of a sudden we had the Demons. A whole new raft of weird concepts and terms were thrown at us. "Ontosphere"? "Turing packets"? Are the culprits some kind of cyberpunk-style berserk computers? I like galactic strangeness, but it should make some sort of sense. Instead, the denouement comes as a horror movie with demon possession, monsters, and, um, gun battles? Really? You can fight world-destroying demons with bullets??
This author has a way with prose, but my reaction to most of this was "I don't get it".    

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Science fiction        
Age recommendations -- 12. Suited for any age.        
Sex content rating -- No real sex scenes.        
Violence rating -- Moderate violence, not too graphic                                                        
** The author's links for **

Amazon

Amazon author page

Website

Twitter
https://twitter.com/RobertCWilson