Monday, July 21, 2014

The Lure of Fools by Jason King

From Barnes and Noble:
"Adventure is the lure of fools, and excitement glamour to the gullible. The siren song of the world is as music to the wanderer's feet, but that dance leads only to the soul-less grave."

So Jekaran's uncle has warned him. But that doesn't stop him from leaping at the exhilarating chance to single-handedly rescue a beautiful woman from a gang of lecherous thieves.  
But the bored farm boy quickly finds that he is no match for the group of angry street thugs, and only escapes death by bonding a magical sword that grants him the strength and skill of a master swordsman. Unfortunately, a peasant wielding such magic is forbidden and punishable by death.
Thus Jekaran finds himself a fugitive with his fate tied to that of the exotic and mysterious, Kairah; a fey woman who must deliver a dire warning to the king that, if heeded, could prevent the very extinction of humanity.

I was asked by Jason King to review The Lure of Fools.  I was intrigued by the adventure and fantasy in the blurb, so I had agreed.

I really enjoyed the book.  The story line was engaging and moved at good pace.  It does jump around from different point of views but it wasn't confusing to me.  It adds to the story and helps to build the story line.  The ending leads me to believe this is apart of a series, since it doesn't seem to be finished(which is the only issue I have with the story).

Each character brings something to the table and honestly their back stories help to explain each characters personalities.  I do think that King did a great job developing each character and how they interact with each other.  Honestly I couldn't pick out a favorite at this point in time!

Overall it is a good and fun read, which I enjoyed!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Glaze City Eyes by Preston M. Smith and Jacob McKinley

From BN.comJackson McCormack is entering his thirties and his life is not what he hoped it would be. Despite his newly acquired girlfriend Terra, his fledgling writing career and his life are in a state of constant flux. He works a dead-end job and self-medicates profusely, while utilizing every spare moment to devote to his passion for writing. Enter Julius, an elderly, sage-like, street-wandering black man. These two men strike up a unique relationship, as Jackson quickly discovers that Julius also has a penchant for words. While Jackson’s relationship with Terra and career hang by a thin thread, Julius leads him on a series of adventures that will prove to save Jackson’s life. A novel as gritty and vibrant as the city of Los Angeles; it is a story of self-destructiveness, and longing for inner peace. Take the journey alongside Jackson on his quest toward redemption.

Preston Smith had asked me to read and review Glazed City Eyes.  I had agreed as the blurb caught my attention.   I will say that this book had me thinking about several things in my own life.  It does bring up a few good points about how much technology has taken control over our lives and we need to fight to stay present in our lives.  

I will say that I do have two minds on this work.  First off I did not like the drug use in the book.  I just don't like to read or be apart of that culture.  HOWEVER I do realize that it plays an important role, because it shows how much Jackson has sank and how much he overcame at the end. It also gave him a a false sense of being in the moment.

The poetry throughout was interesting.  I didn't care much for the ones at the beginning, it was very harsh and didn't flow as nicely as the poetry I typically enjoy.  As Jackson found inner peace thepoetry became much better. Again I realize that it played an important role to the plot.

I did feel the story took a little while to develop, however I really enjoyed when Julius enters the story.  I did think it ended well and overall the thought provoking helped me to enjoy it and over look some of the parts I didn't care for.  This is the first novel that is between two categories. It is better than Fair, but not quite Excellent for me.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Curse of Hekate by Robin Burks

From B&N:  Alex Grosjean is back! The Curse of Hekate picks up where Zeus, Inc. left off. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and begs her for help. It's up to Alex to help him find the entity responsible for his fate, as well as protect the world from a fatal plague. Can Alex stop both, or is the world doomed?
After reading Zeus, Inc. Burks had asked me to review the next in the series.  I agreed since I had enjoyed a futuristic view of Greek Mythology. While it has taken me a while to read it, it was not due to the pace of the book, but more of lack of time.  I definitely enjoyed the book.

Alex is still the tough as nails detective and has all of her moxy.  She definitely is not enjoying being at the call of the Gods.  However she does want to stop the evil she is "asked" to stop.  The struggle she has with trying to have a normal life versus dealing with the Greek Gods and monsters is more apparent.  In fact it does create a great sentence which I won't divulge since it contains a spoiler, but I definitely got a chuckle out of it.

The story line continues straight from the first book.  If you read Zeus, Inc. you will be grateful that Burks didn't totally start from later on.  However I will say that The Curse Of Hekate ends very similarly...which is good to know there should be another book out, and bad because of stupid cliff hangers(the bane of my existence!!!) One thing to note is again this is not necessarily for young adults. There is some foul language, which can be deterring even to adults.  I didn't think it was too much, however it was definitely notable.

Burks has done a great job with this series and I can't wait to see when the next one will come out!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Dream You Make by Christine Nolfi

From B&N:   Each day Annie McDaniel's dream of a brighter future slips further away.
After her nephew's world is destroyed in a burst of gunfire, Annie receives temporary custody of five-year-old Dillon. Now the greenhouse she managed with her late father isn't bringing in enough money. If she doesn't get her financial house in order, a judge will allow a couple in Baltimore to adopt Dillon-and remove him from her life forever.
When Annie takes a second job at Rowe Marketing, the instant attraction she shares with Michael Rowe is a circumstance she can't risk. But should she walk away from a love sure to last a lifetime?
Fresh, heartwarming and inspiring, The Dream You Make reveals that hope always carries the promise of new beginnings.
If you haven't figured it out quite yet I am a fan of Christine Nolfi's works!  Each book I have read is so wonderfully written, that I just can't pass up when another one comes along.  So of course when I seen The Dream You Make, I wanted to read it.  I had to wait, although when a great deal came along for the ebook, I bought it to hold onto when I could.

Nolfi didn't disappoint!  The characters you will love from Michael, Annie, Dillon, and Miriam.  You laugh, you cry, and root for them.  Even at some points you are surprised by them.  You do find out the back stories slowly but this adds to the charm in the book.

I will say this is more of an adult book than a young adult book...but please do not think of it as smut.  I just feel that there are a few parts that young adults do not need to be exposed to until they are mature enough...however those parts did not deter my enjoyment to the book nor do I think the book would be better without them.  It shows a realistic view of the world.

The pace of the book was great and the plot line flowed well.  While there were chapters told through other perspectives, Nolfi did an excellent job of showing who was narrating pretty quickly to avoid confusion.

You shouldn't be surprised by the rating because of course I loved this book too!


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Goddess Letters by Vicki Matthews


From Amazon(image and blurb):
The dreams hold Selena prisoner. Without warning they carry her to bloody battles, a chat with Socrates, or the gardens of an ancient goddess who reveals the truth of women's betrayal. Then Selena is returned to her bed where it often takes days to recover.

The blessing in Selena's life is Rob. He has loved her since their college days in Chicago, yet even he isn't sure if his outspoken girlfriend is crazy, some kind of prophet, or an idiosyncratic mixture of both. But before Rob can decide, the dreams create chaos and he soon finds himself married to Becca in Chicago, while Selena lives in LA, now a popular actress. All Rob has left is an occasional exchange of letters with his lost love.

Years later, Selena and Robs lives collide when the dreams reunite them in horrifying nightmares controlled by Jacobi, who will kill to maintain the patriarchal world he helped create. But Selena has learned a staggering truth that could help women claim cultural equality, and despite Jacobi's potent threats, she considers sharing all she knows. Yet can one woman make a difference in a world on the edge?

The Goddess Letters is a tale of love and cultural crisis that celebrates heroes and unlikely visionaries. A testament to passion of all kinds, it honors those who have the courage to fight for the old, be it love, beliefs, or entire civilizations.

I was approached to read and review The Goddess Letters, the story line caught my attention so I agreed.  I found the book to be alright.  It can be controversial at points depending on your views and for me at points the story seemed to move slow.

I will say that I did like Selena's letters and dreams.  They fascinated me and kept my interest and allowed me to finish the book when it started to move slow.  The fact that they dreams were so realistic and even left marks was a great draw, especially since the dreams were real but maybe in an alternate plane.  I also enjoyed that Rob would have them as well towards the end of the book.

The overall aspect of the book is interesting with dealing with creating a balance between a matriarch and patriarch society.  The controversy is that Christianity is called out, and while I am a believer, I do not feel that reading this damages my views in anyway.  It is a work of fiction and I take it as such, just as I do other books that may be seen as heresy.

It is interesting to skim briefly over history and see some matriarchal societies that did flourish at one time.  I know from studying anthropology in school that is how most societies started out, and those that are still a hunter/gatherer society still operate.  It shows that women can be lead without becoming something or someone else.

Overall I thought the book was OK, not one of my favorites but it wasn't bad either.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rory by Ciye Cho

From ciyecho.com:

Far beyond heaven, earth and hell is a city known as Palladino, a place ruled by ghosts and filled with demons, magic, and all sorts of darkly beautiful things. A city where no one can ever escape.

Eighteen-year-old Rory is a cake decorator who makes stunning confections. But no amount of frosting or miracles can save her when a demon kidnaps her—and carries her to Palladino. Here, Rory ends up in a deadly charm school where young women are forced to become companions for the Ghost Lords. And for her to survive, Rory must become everything that she isn’t: graceful, elegant... and perfect.

But nothing is what it seems in Palladino. Not the magic. Not the ghosts. And definitely not Martin Marius, the bizarre Ghost Lord-slash-inventor who is drawn to Rory. For amid a thousand machines and a hundred cats, Martin holds a secret that could change everything. A secret that could either free Rory... or destroy her. .

So Ciye Cho had asked me to read and review Rory after I had finished Luminaire.  I was intrigued since the ghostly plane was something new for me, so it drew me in. I enjoyed the book and so far Ciye Cho has not let me down in the enjoyment of his books.

Right from the beginning the story caught my attention because Rory is concerned about something in the dark/night.  You aren't told right away what is making her nervous, plus she is focused on her mom(which the flashbacks also helped to keep my attention).  The story lines moves pretty well.  There are a few areas I thought seemed to drag a bit but honestly it didn't last very long either.

Palladino is a unique place...it almost reminds me of a dark Oz.  The buildings and hot air balloons just help to create the ghostly city.  Then you have the Ghost Lords that Rory meets, who are very complicated.  For instance Martin Marius is a bit off standish and a bit mysterious, however we get to see a softer side.

Rory is a great character.  You can see her struggle with wanting to be accepted but at the same time wants to rebel.  The duality is very identifiable for me, and draws me to like her more as a character.  She does what she feels is right and at the same time it does cause issues.

The only thing that gives me pause is the romance that begins between Rory and Martin.  And honestly I guess it is because it is ghost which equals a dead guy...so my mind just goes "ummmmmmm".  However I have read enough paranormal books that I shouldn't be too surprised or feel that it totally out of the realm and unacceptable.  So right now I have mixed feelings about it, but that is just me.

Otherwise I really did enjoy the book and since it ended on a cliff hanger I want to know what happens next!



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