Book Review: Ice

Author: Jessica Wren
Pages: 121
Published: September 29, 2014
Genre: Thriller, Psychological, mild Horror
Rating: 5/5

That was fantastic.

Minterville is a strange little town. Half of the population of the town has the ability to speak psychically to each other while the other half can’t. But after two new families move into the town, things began to change.

Elliot is a high school student that begins to realize something is wrong when women start disappearing from the town. After contacting his Uncle Andy who is the police chief and hearing that even more women have been reported missing, Elliot takes it upon himself to begin investigating. What he uncovers will shock everyone in the small town of Minterville and lead to the biggest massacre to ever take place there.

I was sent this novel for review from the author and could not be more satisfied with it. Even though the book is only 121 pages, Jessica Wren managed to pack a ton of world building and character development into an action packed psychological thriller that was beautifully screwed up and kept me grasping for more.

Ice was incredibly entertaining and the writing style this author has is fantastic. Easy to read with very strong storytelling abilities. She’ll be an indie author to watch for years to come.

Advertisements

Book Review: Crystal Deception (Crystal #1)

Author: Doug J Cooper
Pages: 400
Published: October 10, 2013 (First Published September 15, 2013)
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Rating: 4.5/5

Really need the next one now!

Crystal Deception is the first installment in the Crystal Series by Doug J. Cooper and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This story follows a few different characters as they prepare for a potential battle in space against the Kardish race that have been lingering just outside of Earth for decades without making a move. Juice, or Dr. Jessica Tallette, has been tasked with creating a new generation of AI crystal that can help navigate and control Earth’s army space ships. As a result, Juice creates Criss.

Criss is locked in his own prison and must make the ultimate choice to save the human race or take off on his own.

There were a crazy amount of layers to this novel and I couldn’t wait for the next big plot point to hit to see how the main characters would react. The author did a fantastic job of world building and character development. I will absolutely be reading the next book and anything else that Doug J Cooper decides to write in the science fiction genre. This was fantastic.

Book Review: Santa Claus vs The Aliens

Author: James Cardona
Pages: 120
Published: October 5, 2014 (First Published January 1, 2013)
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, YA
Rating: 3/5

This is my second time reading something from this author and I wanted to love this story as much as I loved Under the Shadow of Darkness, but unfortunately I didn’t.

Edwin is a little boy staying in a boarding home run by nuns. He has a friend there named Frankie, if you could even call Frankie a friend since he is more of a bully than anything else. Edwin has a family that loves him and would like him to move back home, but he doesn’t feel comfortable doing that ever since his dad got re-married.

Edwin carries a ring with him that his father gave him before coming to the boarding home and never really thought much about the ring until one night when he accidentally got his blood on the ring. After that Edwin began noticing that these strange gray men were following him everywhere and he couldn’t escape them.

One of the many times that Edwin is on the run, he bumps into Santa Claus at a local department store while Santa is on his break from taking pictures with little kids. Soon Santa and Edwin realize they have a lot more in common than they thought and now Edwin has to decide what family really means to him.

This was a cute story, but I had a few problems with it. The first problem was the amount of run-on sentences in this book. At times there were entire pages with only one or two sentences. It definitely kept taking me out of the story and felt more like an oversight than anything else.

The second problem I had with the story was the age of Edwin. Edwin is supposed to be a 14 year old boy, but it definitely read more like Edwin was younger than that. To me the story made more sense if I believed Edwin was really 10 or younger. Again, a minor problem.

The final issue I had with the story was the random religious bits thrown in at the end. They felt completely out of place and I’m not really sure why they were in the story.

Those three things combined made me give the story a 3/5. Overall though I really did enjoy reading about Edwin and Santa. I thought it was a cute idea for a story and definitely one that I could see myself enjoying if I had read it when I was younger. James Cardona is a fantastic fantasy/science fiction writer so it’s a little strange to see a shorter story by this author have more issues than his longer installment in the Apprentice Series.

Book Review: Seed (Keepers of Genesis I)

Author: DB Nielsen
Pages: 432
Published: May 7, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Rating: 3/5

Seed is book one in the Keepers of Genesis series by DB Nielsen. I read this book as our first pick for the Indie Book Club.

Sage and her twin sister have grown up immersed in a world of history. Their father has worked for museums their whole life and his job has taken them around the world. While visiting her dad in the museum, Sage stumbles into her father’s office only to discover that her father and a group of other museum workers hovered around a strange looking artifact on her dad’s desk. After quickly shooing Sage out of his office and then punishing her when he got home from work, Sage decides she has to go back to the museum and find out more about what she saw.

The mysterious St. John Rivers works for her father in the museum and had a pretty strange introduction to Sage where he began reciting Shakespeare to her. Sage and St. John then embark on a journey together through London uncovering secrets to a world Sage never thought possible.

Now to be honest, I had a lot of problems with this novel. The biggest problem was also the best part of the novel which was the amount of historical detail. After about 30% of the novel I began only reading the dialogue and yet still felt as if I wasn’t missing anything.

Another issue I had with the novel was the main plot. It felt incredibly jumbled and a little too radical for me. At one point I realized that I was rolling my eyes every time something new happened because it became too unbelievable. Now I understand that this is a paranormal world and thus things extend beyond the typical range of beliefs, however, this felt like it was reaching.

The writing was excellent and I did enjoy reading about the characters, but a lot of the main plot points kept taking me out of the story and if it weren’t for the book club, I’m not sure that I would have finished the novel. =/

However, even with all that I will continue on with this series because I do want to see where the author will take Sage’s character.

Book Review: The Core (Equilibrium Series I)

Author: Kate Thomas
Pages: 157
Published: February 10, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, New Adult
Rating: 4/5

This was amazing.

The Core is the first installment in the new series from fantastic author, LA Starkey aka Kate Thomas. The Equilibrium Series kicks off by introducing readers to Ellie and her mysterious boss David. After Ellie walks into David’s office and finds him covered in blood, Ellie is convinced she works for a murderer.

Ellie enjoys her job with David, but somehow has no idea what her boss actually does for work. After discovering David in her apartment one night, Ellie begins to think there might be more to her boss than just insanely good looks.

Now I have to admit, this story is again not something I typically go for mostly because it falls into the “new adult” category. However, this. Was. Amazing.

Kate has once again proven that she can create incredibly detailed and layered paranormal worlds that pull the reader in within the first few pages. At first I was really against the idea of David’s character, but by the end of the story I couldn’t get enough. The Core was a fantastic beginning to this series and I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment.

Currently On My Radar: Indie To-Buy List

***This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are the books I could readily identify at this time. There are a buttload more, but they either haven’t been released in the format that I already have (books in a series/trilogy) or just haven’t been released yet (I’ve got my eye on you Ms. Starkey)

Thought it would be fun to share what books I have on my current To-Buy list for the next year 🙂

Indie To-Buy:

Paperback

The Shadow Fabric by Mark Cassell

Cloak of Shadows by CK Dawn

Renaria: Into the Adyton by J.L. Wilson, Jo Michaels

The Fall by Stephen Cost

The Labyrinth of Time by T. W. Fendley

The Sibyl by Cynthia D. Witherspoon

The Treemakers by Christina L. Rozelle

The Iron Jawed Boy (Books 1 & 2) by Nikolas Lee

The Keeper: The Maze Series Book 1 by Angel M.

The Keeper of the Wind by Mark Shaw

The Magpie King by M. J. Fahy

Dead Medium by Peter John

Fell Creatures by Barry Durham

The Sister by Max China

The Specimen by Pete Kahle

Witch in the Woods: Clearly’s Corruption by Taylor Ann Bunker

The Dead Lands by Dylan J. Morgan

Adorned by Georgeann Swiger

The Briton & The Dane by Mary Ann Bernal

A Fine Line: The Beginning by J. C. Brennan

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

Along Came a Wolf by Adam Dreece

The Gemstone by Sarena Nanua

Soul Journey by Miranda Shanklin

Unleashed by Rachel McClellan

Crystal Conquest by Doug J. Cooper

The Summer Solstice: Enchanted by K. K. Allen

E-Book

The Gifting by Anne Brooke

Reset: The Beginning is the End by Cara Davis

Skylights by Luther M. Siler

Book Review: Copyright

Author: Lori Lesko
Pages: 276
Published: April 4, 2014
Genre: Adult, Fiction, LGBT, Thriller
Rating: 5/5

This book. Guys. This. Freakin. Book. I have so many thoughts on this book that I’m not even sure if I can accurately type them all out.

Amber Tyler is a 39 year old mother of two currently working on what she hopes will be her next big novel. But her plans change drastically after she has a “widow maker” heart attack and relapses into her old drug habits. To top it all off, her work is stolen and published under a different name.

This novel had so many insane twists and turns that I had no idea where it was going next. There was so much about this novel, even down to the cover design, that I absolutely loved. This quickly jumped up to the top of my favorite reads of 2014 list and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I immediately connected with the story as soon as the author began describing the “widow maker” heart attack. I’m all too familiar with that as my father had one in 1994 and thankfully survived. The odds are never great when someone has this particular heart attack, as can be guessed from the name. My grandfather and great grandfather both died from that so when my dad had one no one was sure what would happen.

The realities of addiction and even the court system were explored beautifully in this novel. I enjoyed every second of this story and loved the ending. The author did a fantastic job of keeping me engaged while not providing a “perfect” ending that wouldn’t have fit the main character. Absolutely deserves a 5/5.

Book Review: Witch in the Woods (Book 1)

Author: Taylor Ann Bunker
Pages: 204
Published: December 11, 2013
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5

Victor is a witch hunter that has been drafted to Beth’s Hollow to determine who this witch is that has been harassing the townspeople for years. After more and more people reportedly go missing once they enter the woods, Victor takes the task upon himself to bring this witch down. Little did he know that he would begin to develop feelings for those he would meet in the woods or that he would develop a new found respect for his deceased father in the process.

A solid 4/5, Witch in the Woods was a really fun start to another witch trilogy that I can’t wait to continue! A debut novel from this author, you can tell how much she enjoyed writing the characters as the storyline progressed. Victor is one of my favorite characters that I read in 2014. I need to get books 2 and 3 ASAP!

Book Review: Destroyed (Soul Keeper Series #2)

Author: L.A. Starkey
Pages: 437
Published: November 15, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5

Book 2 in the Soul Keeper Series was freakin’ fantastic. I can’t say much about the plot because I don’t want to spoil anyone. But book 2 continues the story of Sam as she navigates her relationship with Nick and Marcus.

More mythological elements are added to this novel and the author tied in more detailed storylines beautifully. I enjoyed book 2 more than book 1 and can’t wait for book 3 to come out!

These covers keep getting more and more gorgeous and LA Starkey is just a fantastic person. If you are looking for a fun, quirky, but pretty intense series to pick up then I would highly recommend the Soul Keeper Series.

I cannot say enough good things about these books!

Book Review: Becoming Beauty

Author: Sarah E. Boucher
Pages: 256
Published: November 11, 2014
Genre: YA, Retelling, Fairy Tale, Clean Romance
Rating: 5/5

Becoming Beauty is a debut novel from Sarah E Boucher and kept me captivated from page one. I read the entire book in one sitting because I had to know where the author was going with this modern retelling of Beauty & The Beast.

Bella is anything but grateful. Stubborn, entitled, and a pain to be around she constantly feels overshadowed by her sister. After coercing her father into risking his life for a rare ruby necklace, Bella’s siblings decide that she needs to take responsibility for her actions.

Forced into the service of the “Beast,” Bella is confronted with her worst nightmare; manual labor. But there turns out to be more to the “Beast” than she ever thought possible.

This story kept me guessing from page one. I absolutely loved this novel and especially loved the angle that the author took when describing the origins of the Beast. Incredibly lighthearted while talking about some pretty dark stuff, Becoming Beauty was an awesome debut novel from this author and I will absolutely be following her writing for years to come! 5/5