Category: Book Review

Review: A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton

Title: A Witch in Winter
Author: Ruth Warburton
ISBN: 9781444904697
Publication: January 5th 2012 by Hodder Children’s Books
Received: Bought on Kindle
Links: Goodreads
Rating: 5 out of 5

About:

Anna Winterson doesn’t know she’s a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power.

My Thoughts:

I picked up this book because of the pretty girl on the cover. She’s stunning, and the title of the book, completely amazing.

I began reading thinking that this book wasn’t like all the other books out there and I was right. It starts off with a girl moving into a haunted house in a new town, going to a new school, like every other book out there, but it quickly progresses into its own individuality.

Nobody wants to read the same book twice, even if it’s written by different authors, and has a different name.

Anna and Seth were kind of amazing characters. Anna is your everyday London girl, which is one of the things I loved about this. British slang is amazing. Any writer who regularly uses terms like “sod off” and “bollocks” and “loo” are golden in my books. In fact, Ruth Warburton used loos which is plural for toilets, and basically I love her because of it.

Yep, I love a writer because of toilets.

Anyway, the story isn’t your usual boy meets girl, girl swoons over boy, boy is a badass and doesn’t show he’s fallen for her until the end. This is kind of a surprise, in that emotions are raging throughout the book, there’s real magic, witches galore, and basically a story line that will have your heart pounding.

I was basically taken by this charming little book and I think everyone should read it. Fair warning though, the only thing that was disappointing about this book was the fact that it’s not regularly stocked in Chapters and Barnes and Noble I would suspect, so you may need to get your copy online.

Top 10 Reasons why Writers don’t Read as much as Readers do

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. When I was aspiring, I devoured books, often 10-13 per month. Now that November has come and my book is on the shelves, I’ve barely read at all. I finished The Night Circus in October, but because of Comic Con, I couldn’t finish anything else. I do plan on changing this in the future because I have about ten books I do intend on reading plus a ton for 2012, but here’s my reasons for not reading as much. That there on the side? That’s the last book I finished.

#10: People keep asking me to write things for them.

No I’m not joking. I’m published so that means I can write things. Apparently my writing is acceptable enough to be on the shelves, therefore others believe they can throw me more work to do. I’m flattered, really, but I’m busy enough already.

#9: My publisher told me he wants the next book ready by March.

I had a battlestar galactica moment and couldn’t stop saying frak. I also had a panic attack and we’ve renegotiated. I think we’re both okay with May. I’d be fine with October to be completely honest, but we’ll see.

#8: People want to celebrate and be friends with me.

Do you realize how much work it is to have friends in real life? They’re awesome, but when they all want to have coffee with you it becomes a bit weird. I’ve found myself attempting to put people together who wouldn’t normally get along. I’m trying to plan a book release party so that I can get this whole socializing over and done with. (Aha so I can go back to writing things) I still love them of course, but I need to work too.

#7: My house is a mess.

Well it was but my kids have been cleaning it. That’s right, laundry, vacuuming, disinfecting the bathroom. The only thing they don’t do is dishes. Speaking of which . . .

#6: My husband and kids wanted some attention.

My husband just wanted to go out with me for a change and my kids wanted me to watch a movie with them. They also wanted to draw some pictures for me. They’re all cool with me writing books as long as it’s not the only thing I do. If I’m writing and then I go stick my head in a book . . . I’m in trouble. Actually my four year old reminded me that I hadn’t done my chores yet.

#5: Other authors write differently than I do.

It’s true. I love Maggie and Cassie but they don’t write exactly the way I do. Sometimes reading their books sucks the creativity right out of me. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Some days it’s easier to let everyone else write things while I do other things like event planning and reading minds. Either way, sometimes when the wheels are turning, I NEED to not read anything because it’ll mess with my groove.

#4: The Green Eyed Jealousy Monster

I wrote a great book, but everyone is buying this other great book. It must mean I’m not good enough. Yeah, we can find fifty ways to Sunday around this one but the argument never changes. Just a little envious of the other books out there.

#3: I edit when I read.

Any published author has been through the excruciating editing process so they know how it is. When they go back to reading it’s like the things they edited in their own novels they pick out in other people’s novels. It’s really hard to stop doing that and to just enjoy a book for a change.

#2: I might not like the next book I read and since I review books, I don’t want to give out a bad review.

It’s like flipping TV channels trying to find something good to watch. I go through the first 5% of a book, put it down, move onto another book, read another 5%, put it down, read another, and so on and so forth until something just makes me stay. I have no idea what makes me stay with a book, but something does. I don’t like giving out bad reviews and so I tend to just put them on a DNF list and forget about it.

#1: I need to spend more time writing than reading.

It’s just the truth. As a writer I DO need to read, but I also need to write things. I can’t be stuck reading books until the cows come home. Sure, if I wasn’t publishing books I would read more, but when you have only 6 months to turn out a product, and you want that product to be just as good as everything else out there, you do have a tendency to close the cave walls and isolate yourself from everyone.

I’ll be going back into the cave soon, though I don’t know which project I’ll be tackling next. I have 3.5 more books to write in 1 series, then 2 more series to write, one is 3 books, the other is 4 books. If you were counting that’s 10.5 books I have to write.

*sigh* Sadly, I might not be reading a lot in the next year.

Namaste,
Rhi

Review: Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

The Blurb: In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them–for reasons Richard can’t imagine and Kahlan dare not say.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword–to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.


My thoughts: I picked up on this book when I moved in with my husband. He has shelves full of books, we’re talking five thousand plus books. Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, DAW, Forgotten Realms, Star Trek, Star Wars, V.C. Andrews, Issac Asimov, etc. etc. I am literally surrounded by books everyday.

Wizard’s First Rule was already in the library along with the rest of the series. I began reading it shortly after The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, also found on the shelves, right beside Shakespeare. 

This story is sort of the pinnacle of Epic Fantasy. Goodkind started a new phenomenon with this book. Before The Sword of Truth Series there was R.A. Salvatore, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, but there wasn’t something that was contemporary, romantic, as well as adventurous and epic. I found that Goodkind’s Midlands were similar to Earth. We had villagers, both in the Midlands and in Westland. I like the idea that there were places with magic and places without. 

I loved Kahlan and the confessors. If you’re not privy to Goodkind, well confessors are women who can make men tell the truth. They see each man and woman’s truths. There’s no chance of lying to a confessor. In addition to this, a confessor can put a man under her power. When he’s been touched by her, he will do anything for her, including killing himself. This way it makes it impossible for her to have a mate because it’s very likely that the man would be under the influence of a confessor.

Kahlan and Richard struggle with a lot in this book and it feels like if this book were out today it would be released in at least three if not four books because it’s over 1000 pages long and there are many parts to the story. 

In the beginning, Richard doesn’t know who he is and is then named the Seeker. By his birthright, he will defeat the tyrant Darkan Rahl. Wizard of the First Order, Zeddicus Zul Zorander, and Confessor, Kahlan are his protectors and guides on this journey. Chase comes with them he’s from the Westlands and not gifted, but I think of him as muscle. He proves good in a fight. 

They cross into midlands and get into a lot of trouble basically. Richard and Kahlan travel the lands solving small problems for the people while battling their own inner turmoil. They have feelings for each other, and every now and again they act on them, but Kahlan says it can never happen. She doesn’t want to make Richard her pawn.

There are plenty of detours from the original plot, such as the time with the mud people, Shota, the witch, and various other villages. Shota mentions that Kahlan will betray Richard. They also find out though I forget how, that Darken Rahl is searching for the boxes of Orden, which will give him ultimate power. 

The rest of the book focuses on the back stories of Kahlan and Zedd, the forbidden love story between Kahlan and Richard, the prophecy that Kahlan will betray Richard and the quest for finding the boxes of Orden before Darken Rahl assembles them.

The other element is that there’s a book written in a secret language that Richard can read, and in fact, memorized. The book explains how to use the boxes, there’s a chance that instead of ultimate power, the user could destroy themselves. Magic always has consequences after all.

During the quest, Richard is captured by Denna one of the Mord’Sith. I loved these women and hated them. They use Aegils to cause pain to their prey. They work for Darkan Rahl and are considered elite. They are trained from a young age to be soulless women, hard in every way, strong warriors. Richard spends forever with Denna. She causes him pain people could only dream about. It’s really quite disturbing. Through all of it Denna tries to cause Richard enough pain that he forget his name, forgets his quest, forgets everything. Denna tries to make him fall for her, if he falls in love with her she’ll make the pain stop. Richard doesn’t fall for her, no matter what Denna does to him he still remembers Kahlan, keeps dreaming about her, keeps screaming out her name, never loses faith or hope.

Definitely one of my favorite parts of the book even if it was gruesome. 

When Kahlan and Zedd free Richard, Richard kills Denna with the Sword of Truth and inherits her Aegil. Turns out, it hurts just as much to hold an Aegil as it does to be touched by it. So when Denna was torturing Richard, she was also enduring the same amount of pain herself. Also, Goodkind explains the way Mord Sith are trained, and it involves the same kind of pain Richard endured though at a much younger age.

Richard continues his quest but things go wrong again and once again I’m blurring past parts of the book I forget because again, so many pages! 

I loved the way this book ended though. Richard is separated again and held captive by Rahl himself. Kahlan goes into the condar (intense anger) and actually makes one of Rahl’s men chop off his own genitals. When Zedd, Kahlan and Chase find Richard, Rahl is poised with all 3 boxes of Orden. Rahl calls to Kahlan to put Richard under her control, and she’s in the condar, so she knows if she does it, Richard will be under her power forever. Still, forced, she does it, and then Richard tells Rahl how to use the boxes so that he’ll gain power and not destroy himself. Richard is the one who memorized the book after all, and the book was lost. 

Rahl open the boxes and instead of gaining power he ends up destroying himself. Richard apparently lied, he wasn’t under control of Rahl at all. Zedd and Chase think they’ve won but Kahlan leaves the room. She’s at the fountain when Richard finds her, ready to stab herself so Richard can be released from her power. She tells him to turn around and go back inside, knowing that if he were any other man under her control, he would be forced to do it. Richard doesn’t. He tells her to put the knife down and Kahlan doesn’t understand until Richard explains that her power can’t affect him because he’s already so in love with her he would do anything for her. Anything except turn away and let her kill herself.

So turns out they found the way to be together.

In the end Richard asks Zedd what the Wizard’s First Rule was. Zedd says, “people are stupid” and to always use that stupidity to your advantage.

:)

And that is all the fantastic spoilery things I loved about this book. If you haven’t read it yet then why not!?

And if you have read it, what was your favorite part? Did you watch Legend of the Seeker, the TV show version? I did and was disappointed that the ending of Wizards First Rule was messed up, and that they switched from Stone of Tears to Wizard’s First Rule and back again. I stopped following it after the first season. 

Anyway, that’s it for tonight! Enjoy!


REVIEW: We Are Not Alone by Kristen Lamb

Good afternoon,

The Blurb: As society becomes more and more technologically advanced, people are seeking new ways to interact. Humans are social creatures. Relationships and community are vital to our survival and our mental and emotional health.Writers, published and unpublished, fiction and non-fiction are hearing words like platform and brand with increasing frequency as the publishing paradigm shifts into the 21st century. The world around us is changing faster than ever, and publishing is certainly not immune.There are more opportunities for a new author today than there has been in the entirety of human history. Yet, the flip side of that reality is, with thousands and thousands of authors with books and blogs, how can a writer ever hope to stand apart let alone succeed?This book will show you how.There are countless social media experts, but Kristen’s system is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of a writer. Take charge of your future today. You have great books to write, and don’t have time for rookie mistakes that can cost you years of rebuilding your name, brand, and platform.Kristen’s method is simple, effective, and helps auhors find ways to harness the imaginatin used for writing and employ this creativity to build a solid platform designed to connect with readers. This system is designed to change the writer’s approach, not the writer’s personality.And the best part is you have help. Remember, We Are Not Alone.

The Short Stick: You need this book, just admit it, you probably do.

The Goods: I was lucky enough to be able to get through about 50% of this book nodding my head and thinking that I already do all of these things, but there are always holes in any social media network and yes I have holes. I also have problems up the wazoo because I have an audience and have no idea what to do with it. You can bet I now have a word doc on my computer with about 150 titles of interesting blog posts that I will be dishing out slowly. I also have plenty of them written because I’m soon going to be guest posting and the worst thing an author can do is go on someone else’s blog and say “I have a book coming out, here’s what it’s about, go buy it.” Because um, #dead. So instead I’ve come up with a few little interesting articles that incorporate elements of my book and also relate things in my book to other books out there. It’s A LOT of work but it’ll be worth it.

A long time ago I told my crit partner that I could write essays about FLAME OF SURRENDER and this is true because this is exactly what I’m doing, only I get to create the essay questions and instead of them being “Explain the anthropological elements of your story” it’s more like, “Is Krishani a bad boy? See how he measures up” Yep . . . these are going to be fun, flirty and enticing.

I also have a ton of other ideas including some videos and blooper reels and interviews with the people who are stepping into my character’s shoes for the Book Trailers. (Oh I’ll explain that later)

But the thing is, none of this would have happened without Kristen’s book. I would have continued being ranked a 56, I would have continued to have plateaued my network and you people would still be confused as to what I’m all about.

The biggest things she helped me with were my bio, my content and my syncing. I’ll admit, facebook has been a barren tundra for awhile, and I wasn’t even on myspace (who knew people still go there?) So I found her book really helpful and informative.

The Not So Goods: If you’re like me, you probably have some stuff set up but not everything, and so you do need to read it just for a reality check but at the same time, her advice is really simple and will likely only get you started. She mentions the need for another book explaining more, and I’ll likely be picking it up when I plateau again. The whole thing is, I feel like I’m still building potential, I’ve managed to roll the giant rock almost to the cliff, but I need a few more pushes before I launch it off the edge and it spins and gains momentum and well okay that rock is ultimately going to crash and explode at the bottom of the cliff, but you get my point . . . it’ll do a lot of things all by itself without me doing anything once it’s off that cliff.

With any luck my rock won’t go SPLAT.

Rating: 5/5

Recommendation: Go buy it, if you’re confused about what to use twitter, myspace and facebook for, go get this book. You’ll become a lot more effective and you’ll thank Kristen later for opening your eyes.

Namaste,

REVIEW: Discovery of Death by A.P. Fuchs

The Blurb: Zach and Rose had fallen in love during their sophomore year, their worlds completely changed and utterly belonging to each other’s. It was the first time either had fallen in love, deeply, purely. Aiming for a future together, plans were interrupted when Zach went missing for three long months, leaving Rose distraught, heartbroken and depressed.
Zach awakens in the dark of a coffin, his memory erased, his life and feelings for Rose forgotten. A strange group of people who identify themselves as his family reveal he has become a vampire, one of the undead, and is now a being with incredible power and a thirst for blood.

However, during Zach’s absence, Rose learns of her own secret heritage: she comes from a long line of vampire slayers, hellbent on eradicating the unholy threat of the undead from the face of the Earth. Now, not only does she need to try and get over the young man she loves, she must also come to terms with her new life and what that means for her future.

It is only when her path accidentally crosses with Zach’s does lost love begin to surface again.

The Short Stick: At least there was some kicking ass.

The Goods: The kicking ass and the location was awesome. I also have a thing about the name Cassie, but that has nothing to do with the vampire in the book. It was also a quick read, the story flowed and it was easy to get through. The end was probably the best part about the book, that and the ass kicking. Did I mention there’s some awesome ass kicking? Because there is and it should be mentioned.

The Not So Goods: I’ll admit I threw up a little in my mouth when Rose pulled out her decorated “Zach” box, done up in markers and had felt hearts glued to it. And I died a little when Rose mentioned that Zach had a “Rose” box, same style. Needless to say the romance is where the book needed work, Rose is a love sick puppy and even though Zach doesn’t remember her, what she remembers of him makes him look whipped. Also, even though the writing was good, it sometimes veered off, mostly in the dialogue when people were saying things pertinent to the story but using more of a narrator voice rather than their own character voice.

I also would have appreciated a lot more up close moments not of the cheese variety to make this one a home run for me. It just fell short in a lot of places.

Rating: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’ve had enough of vampires, then you don’t need to go here. On the other hand, if you just want to support Indie Authors, you should definitely pick this one up because it’s decent and isn’t going to make you invest too much in the vampire myth to get a good afternoon read.

Namaste,

REVIEW: Blood Red Rod by Moira Young

The Blurb: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

The Short Stick: Gritty, brutal and full of passion.

The Goods: The grit was the best thing about this book. It worked its way into you and made me forget to use ings when talking to my kids for awhile. Excuse me while I act like a hick for a bit. The language that Moira used in her book was really effective, and the funny thing is, she didn’t write it that way to begin with. I’m almost certain that Moira chose which words to spell wrong and did it on purpose. You can do that on MS Word, hit CTRL F and find a word and change it. I’m almost certain that the writing style came later, with respect to maybe the “an” and the “yer” and other articles. There were these beautiful instances of prose inbetween all the “bad grammar” so don’t get the idea that this book isn’t “well written” because of the styling, the styling is actually brilliant.

The plot was exciting, my favorite line being “Yer timin sucks.” and then the relationship between Jack and Saba. Really, I have to look at this as a stylistic piece, Saba, the Angel of Death is what makes this different. The actual plot points are all fairly typical, but enjoyable indeed because of Saba’s interpretatin of it. This book is character driven, not plot driven and so you have to give her props for that.

Jack was by far my favorite character, my favorite moment for him was the waterfall moment, man, that guy tried so hard! I loved it!

The Not So Goods: The publishers really gave this one a big push it didn’t deserve over other books. Sure it’s a good book but it’s no Hunger Games. When I went to Chapters there had to be 30 of this book on the shelves, and then Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, they stocked 2. So really, I loved Imaginary Girls more than Blood Red Road, but I don’t believe that one book should be favored over another in the market, let the fans decide on that, not the publishers and the bookstores. More copies can always be ordered later.

Getting back to the book itself, my only gripe is the explanation of the modern world. Moira runs the risk of being more of an epic fantasy (gasp!) because even if these places are described in English, we still have no idea of where the modern world falls, nor do we have a lot of evidence of it being around. We know this is Earth, we know there used to be Wreckers, but I couldn’t tell you if this was the middle east or the united states or siberia for that matter. That had me a little confused, and I realize that because the story is from Saba’s POV that we can lose that but I still believe it should have been explained somehow to her.

Rating: 5/5 (it really was that good even without the explanations and the unfair publisher push)

Recommendation: Go pick this one up! It deserves a spot on your TBR pile.

Namaste,

REVIEW: The Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell

The Blurb: Ves Asirin, an orphaned and introverted boy with a complicated memory loss disorder, wins a trip to the TOWER OF PARLEN MIN, the home of the wealthiest inventor of the time, Jacobius Trent. There, with 19 other children, he must compete in the Sword Challenge; a series of intricate puzzles and daring tasks, for a prize of $12 million. As dazzling, glorious and liberating as the Tower seems to be for him, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been unknowingly connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his future and destiny … if he can escape The shadow; a powerful and seemingly unstoppable, supernatural serial killer.

The Short Stick: An adventure that will leave you wanting for more!

The Goods: Okay there were a lot of good things about this book, the characters for one were all believable, the plot was action packed and jumping, I was always finding myself surprised by the intricate and creative things Matt Xell has the characters get involved with. In some cases I could think of the Tower of Parlen Min as kind of like Hogwartz, without all the classes. It really reminded me a lot of the Philosopher’s Stone, when Harry had to explore parts of Hogwartz to find the Stone. In this case, the children are exploring the Tower for a sword. They have to solve clues and complete challenges, which at first I thought would be benign until they got really violent! I actually enjoyed the violence, it made the risks more real for me. And then add the wolves in the woods and the cabin and the serial killer on the loose and the surprise ending, I mean how Ves got out of there alive at all is a miracle. There was a lot stacked against him.

The Not So Goods: I wish the writing was better. I won’t lie, at first the voice comes off very non fiction and technical, like reading national geographic, and then it gets wonky. There are too many points of view, and they all converge in the same scenes, I was never sure who was telling the story as there’s no known narrator and so for me, I’d say even though WHAT happens, and HOW it happens is fantastic, HOW Xell tells the story is BLECH. I’d look at a complete rewrite. If it were me, I’d take it from Ves’s perspective, and then Vikey and maybe one other person like Mr. Cromwell or something. There are A LOT of characters to get to know in the book and so I often found myself confused by the names and who was doing what, etc. etc. I got the gist of it, but again, this could have been pulled off much better if the writing was better. Lastly, I don’t really know who Ves is as a character. His personality changes and because of his memory loss I don’t think HE knows who he is so he has random bursts of personality and I found it REALLY jarring because one minute he’s this confused kid, and the next he’s all “Sure I’ll kill that giant frog monster for you!” and then he’s got skills he doesn’t know he has and blah blah blah, it just made me feel no connection to Ves whatsoever. Oh and the last thing, he told me this book was YA and it’s MG, Ves is 11, so he’s nowhere near being considered for the YA market. If he rewrote it as an MG I’m almost certain he’d get picked up, he’d just have to tone down the violence a bit, and obviously clean up the point of view, and nail down Ves’s character and it would seriously be flying off shelves!

Rating: 5/5 on the storyline 1/5 on the writing.

Recommendation: I hope Matt Xell will take this one back into the drawing room. He’s got a book that could be BIG, but he really needs to look at his writing again.

Namaste,

REVIEW: Darwin’s Children by Natasha Larry

The Blurb: Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!

Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Her family’s special – in more ways that one. Her mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And her godfather John can literally convince anyone to do anything.

But, as far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love her pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of…

Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie and her family, until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

The Short Stick: If Will and Willow Smith ever did a movie together . . . this would be it.

The Goods: Okay, the characters are really strong, the writing was decent and the plot was exciting and kept moving pretty quickly. I found it interesting both because I am a psychic and because I read minds to the same level John can read minds. Some of the tricks of the trade that Ms. Larry has described here are things that actually happen to me on a regular basis. It makes me wonder sometimes why more people can’t do it for real since they seem to be able to write about it accurately. That was a nice surprise, all the accuracy with the metaphysics and such. Also, I got the Will Smith and Willow Smith idea from the motorcycle, I mean really, a motorcycle!? Ugh, there was some stuff about this book that was way too cool for words.

The Not So Goods: There were two things I didn’t like about this book, the first being the cover, yuck. The second was POV shifts, I get really stuck up when a book has a lot of POV’s and they keep flipping back and forth between people and not smoothly. This book does this a lot, and so just you might have to reread some things to get who’s head we’re in and then with all of the mind reading going on, sometimes we’re in John’s perspective, but he’s reading Mason’s mind or Haylee’s mind and then we’re like oh, what’s going on? I found myself getting a little lost in places. I found myself again and picked right back up because the story itself is great, it was just that one little pet peeve of mine.

Rating: 4/5

Recommendation: Go pick this one up if you get a chance, it’s a good read!

Source: Thanks to Natasha Larry for e-mailing me and putting the book in my hands. I hope my turn around time for the review was quick enough for ya!

Namaste,

REVIEW: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

The Blurb: It could happen tomorrow…

A cataclysmic event. An army of “The Changed.”
Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human…

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom—a young army veteran—and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive

The Short Stick: Raise the hairs on the back of your head, stick you in the bush without a flashlight, better not read this at night because you’ll scare the bejesus out of yourself awesome.

The Goods: Okay so Alex is a survivor and she’s got a lot on her plate. First there’s the fact that she’s dying of a brain tumor and then there’s her crazy idea to go camping by herself in the mountains. And then there’s that electromagnetic pulse wave thingy and then this really snotty Ellie girl and then Tom, and Jess and Nathan and Rule and Chris and the 5 factions of families and everything else that makes this book so awesome. Basically imagine yourself in the middle of nowhere, billions of people are dead, you have 4 granola bars and at least 25 miles to walk to the next ranger station, until of course you see two teenagers you sort of know snacking on a carcass and then a whole bunch of other scary shit started happening that you can barely even fathom. And the thing is, I was kinda there, living through it with Alex and because of her attitude, I wasn’t that scared. I was pretty sure Alex could figure it out. And the nice thing about Bick is just how tight and smooth and logical her writing is. She explains the emergency pack, she explains the landscape perfectly. She uses words I’ve never heard of before, like caromed, and briary and sluiced. These are words I had to write down and then look up because I need to expand my vocabulary too. I literally poured over this book, just loving every minute of it because really, it’s awesome.

The Not So Goods: Okay, I really didn’t like Alex or Ellie, and that was a big turn off for me. I mean it’s great to have a storyline with a lot of awesome writing, but not having likeable characters will usually force me to put a book down. In this case I got through it, but I wanted Ellie to die, really badly . . . and was then kinda sad when I saw what happened to her. Anyway, I get the whole post apocalyptic thing and the Changed thing, but then there was this confusing families thing mixed in and it was all just a bit of a mess. Haha, I found myself trying my best to follow along come like the second half of the book but I think I got the gist of it. I know there’s going to be another one, it had a wicked ending line and I’m looking forward to it.

Rating: 5/5

Recommendation: Pick this one up, you’ll get a good lesson in the english language and an above average post apocalyptic story that will have your skin crawling.

Namaste,

REVIEW: Misfit by Jon Skovron

Hey All,

I have this horrible habit lately of reading 5 different books at once, and literally flipping back and forth through them. I can’t say it makes my brain very straight, but then, I’m okay with this.

The Blurb: Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.

The Short Stick: Juvenile cheesy drivel.

The Goods: Jael’s best friend seemed cool in the beginning, and even she seemed cool and even her dad seemed cool the poor cheap guy he was. And I did like the writing style, it’s frankness and sarcasm mixed with a few lighthearted laughs at the expense of some big hair.

The Not So Goods: Pretty much everything else. Jael is introduced to her abilities, to some bad guys who taunt her, to people who make her life living hell and we’re all in this satirical hell place again. Reminded me a lot of Percy Jackson. I don’t know if that’s a compliment since in mythology, Zeus was technically Persius’s father and in The Lightning Thief it was Poseidon. This was the same thing only opt out Greek myth for hell itself, with Jael’s family being from Haiti. That was cool though because technically the Haitians are on the same site as Sodom and Gomorrah, which is where hell is supposed to be anyway. So I guess that whole her being a demon thing being from Haiti makes sense. Although, don’t tell any of the earthquake victims that, they’ll have a fit over this book! (You know, if they made the same connections I did, that Jael is a demon because she’s from Haiti, yikes!) Basically my complaint was that it’s really for the youngsters who like to think that physics don’t matter when it comes to abilities and if we’re all just gonna have a fun time with it then sure. And if you like bad guys that are like Beetlejuice then this one’s for you!

Rating: 2/5

Recommendation: Skip it.

Namaste,