A Badass with Yellow Wings

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The 1-line Review:

A completely unique story and super thrilling read.

The longer review:

 Fledgling is very captivating and hooked me from the beginning. The plot instantly stood out as unique and is different remind me of anything I have read before. Quick spoil free plot- Murdered girl turned archangel in training on quests to save innocents by mind dumping conscious(es) into  evil doers. Cool, right? Author Katrina Copes spin on angels was a real refresher on you typical archetype.

Its all about angels, but I wouldn’t call it christian fiction. This is definitely a 13 and up read due to gruesome fight scenes.Cope really paints each scene very vividly in your brain, and that includes very detailed fight scenes. You can definitely feel the action jump off the page. The bone crunching and cartilage ripping pushed my (relatively low) limits for that kind of action sequence, some will like the realness of it, the faint of heart might, well… faint.

The main angel (no name dropping, kind of a mini spoiler. You’ll understand when you read it) is likable in that annoying kind of way. Her haste and haphazard choices really turn the pages. I can tell if I loved not liking her, or hated liking her. Either way she kept the story going.

Bottom Line:

Great scenes, excellent action.  Highly entertaining, very engaging page turner. Could be the start to a a very worth-reading series.

Where the book lost a half star:

Main angel was the most real feeling character, but she became a bit one tracked, especially in her decision making. One male angel had some decent enough depth. The rest of the small character cast were ambiguous (some by design) or felt very one dimensional.

The gruesomeness pushed the limits a bit. Like I said above, some will love it.

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The Atlantis Deception

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The 1-line Review:

The last 4 words were the most thrilling. There was too much ambiguity to get deeply invested.

The longer review:

 This is a ‘Don’t read the last page first’ kind of story. Some people peak, but don’t; otherwise it kills the whole story. I have not read any other story in this series, and this story is readable if it is your first one. While this story is a good read for a sci-fi/thriller, it didn’t make me so invested as to want to read others from the series.

The ARC, essentially an alien collection vessel  and mobile habitat, was filled with creatively dangerous species from a newly discovered planet. The crew member get trapped inside the recreated habitat and have to traverse the region in its entirety to get to a maintenance door and exit. The ship is cool, the creatures are cool. The action scenes and suspense are nice, but there is an amount of ambiguity from start to finish that kept me from getting deep into the story.

I think over-engineered technology drives the plot. That is to say, there would have been no danger if engineers had put door handles on all the automatic doors. Normally I don’t like when the storyline hinges on something so little. In this case I like it because it sheds some light on the way we are designing technology now. (Like key-less entry cars with electronic backup systems to open them in case of failure. If the electronics totally fail, you cant open the car…) Anyway the engineer in me is digressing…

Bottom Line:

 Props to Thracker for writing this story in a month. If you like his work, I would say this book was better than Golden Crystal but not as good as The Depths. (Have not read Enigma Strain yet, so cant judge that one.)

Where the book lost a half star:

Why even enter the zoo in the first place. The team could have figured away to defend against one species in the conference room. And Malai (the one team member not trapped) could have blown open the conference door, rather than the door he actually blew up. Common sense wise, it dint make sense.

The team of explorers about the ARC (spaceship) refer to their specie’s traits and how they do or do not resemble those traits. But never do we get an inkling of what this species looks like. So I ended up thinking about them all as humans who talked kind of nerdy. All the actions they take sound human; walk, sit at tables, eat soup, sleep lying down, etc. All of that is entirely human, nothing stood out as different. However all the other species in this book were clearly set apart from earth species.

Every species was designated a number and no name. Makes sense, but at times I have to stop and think which were which because you can forget when every name is a number.

While the over-ingenuity lucked out as being a plus, the team suffered from single personality disorder. With maybe one or two exceptions, the essence of almost every team member was the same; logical to a fault, stick to protocol, little creativity, meticulous. The team was very ISTJ when an advanced society capable of space travel should be able to get a more diverse team together.

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Insurgent is an aggressive version of High School Musical

The 1-line Review:

I want to dislike this series but can’t. The plot is like trying to catch water in a net and I think the dystopian society is to simplified, but for a second time this series has kept me turning pages.

The longer review:

Yes I know this book just became a movie, but I’m going to review it anyway. What can I say, better late than never. I think Veronica Roth is a great writer because I don’t love the plot line but I like this story. I don’t see how such a large society can divide themselves into such simplified factions. There’s a fight club, a book club, a debate team, a Model United Nations, and farmers. If you have any personality whatsoever you get to be homeless, so naturally there’s a whole c**p-load of homeless people (so it really is like chicago, which has one of the highest homeless populations in the U.S.)

So the plot is that the queen of the book club decided she wants to kill everyone. First thing she had to do was destroy Model UN by brain washing fight club, logical first step since everyone know Model UN isn’t real anyway. Then half of fight club decide to think a little and feel like that wasn’t cool. So they go hide with the debate team. The queen of book club talks with the debate team leader for about 2 minutes before he decided to let the book club use his entire debate team as brainwashed zombies too. Clearly the debate team needs more practice negotiating. Then the half of the fight club we are supposed to root for team up with the homeless personality squad and invade book clubs library. Then, in a stroke of surprising mid altering plot twists, the homeless people take over because they hate being homeless. Then everyone watches a Nat Geo documentary and gets pissed off. Slap a cliffhanger on the end and Boom you got a book.

Bottom Line:

Read it, you’ll probably enjoy it. If your in high school just watch the movie and pretend you read it when you talk about it.

 

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Jump through the Schism

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The 1-line Review:

Schism hooks you in fast and is exciting from start to finish. Urban fantasy, extra dimension, big battle, mage Merlin descendant…Yes Please!

The longer review:

 Schism begins as a mystery and ends as a modern magic-urban-fantasy. The storyline got deep quick, I was only 30 pages in when I felt like I was half way through the book.  Main characters Gabe and Lea feel real and have that fleshed-out, multi-layer-protagonist-with-flaws essence about them (wow that was a mouthful.) They are quirky and likeable and sometimes annoying and develop a cute little relationship that evolves overtime. There’s not enough lovey-dove stuff to make it a romance, so its a good read for everyone.

Safe to safe the book eventually gets off earth and into Illirin (since the book is part of the Illirin Trilogy) and you wont be disappointed by the mix of magic, war, and political conflict that make up the second half of this story. It stayed exciting right up to the final battle and cliffhanger ending (arrggh!)

Schism has a great storyline and strong writing, much better than I normally anticipate from a debut authors first novel. I was impressed by the dialogue and internal monologue sequences and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Bottom Line:

 Definitely worth the ebook read. Great start to a series and Debut novel. Boys and girls of they YA and urban fantasy genres will love it!

Where the book lost a half star:

AHH! the cliffhanger ending. I try not to hate on these endings, but i turned the page expecting to read more. Now I have to wait for the next one!

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Ennara and the Fallen Druid

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Will’s winning character: Smoos- the adorable, overly large sea kitty

The 1-line Review:

A fun dungeon adventure for the 8-12 range.

The longer review:

Ennara and the Fallen Druid is the first in a series that holds a lot of potential. The characters and storyline are enjoyable and the story is well written. For an 8-12 year old this book will be a fun adventure. Battles with dungeon monsters and fun magic items found along a D&D like quest fuel this adventure. The end game being to save their land from a fallen druid looking to rise to power once again.

Despite being an overall good story. The book did not stand out from the pack so to speak. It was a good dungeon/magic adventure in line with what you expect from an archetypical high world fiction.   I found that when I put the book down I would not pick it up again for awhile. It didn’t pull me in like it needed too.

The main character is enjoyable and her cast of two other boys and Smoos the Sea Cat are a good little rag tag team. At times the two boy support characters felt the same, so I would forget who was who during the middle of the story. I really did love the Sea Cat, whos like a big swimming leopard.

I want to read book two in the series and see what happens. The series has a chance to evolve into a great series for that young age range.

Bottom Line:

 Great read for fantasy reading children, but lacks the depth to keep an older reader into the story.

Where the book lost a star:

For this book it was all minor points and not a major plot issue. (That is a good thin!)

  • While the characters are likeable. They don’t get too deep.This is something a young audience might not need or notice, but would add some needed depth to really connect with the characters.
  • The villain was a real bad dude, but I never felt that grandiose-ness of his fear or power.
  • For me, the the story didn’t stand out from others yet. It was good but felt very standard-dungeon-adventure for a good part of the middle chapters.

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Out for Blood: Not enough to Bite Into

R. Barri Flowers - Out For Blood (Transylvanica High Series)

Three Gold Stars / Five

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The 1-line Review:

Book two felt much like the first and did not build upon the series like it should have.

The longer review:

I read this a while ago and failed to write the review. Part of that was because it just didn’t leave an impression on me. I don’t remember the exact details of the book anymore, but I still remember my overall feeling toward it.

The first in this series was pretty good, decent story and characters. The end really built up well to something more. Alas, that build up did not amount to anything in out for blood. I thought out for blood was going to amount to something bigger than the high school problems of vampire teenagers. The plot was similar to the first book. In one book a mysterious vampire was attacking humans, in the other novel an unknown human was attacking vampires.  Both stories happened to similarly to feel different.

The character relationships didn’t seem to build off of the last book. There were some new characters and relationships but no real forward progress.

The end salvaged the story and gives the series another chance to grow to much more than it did in Out For Blood. I hope the story can get back on a good track in the next installment.

Worn Out Word:

The phrase “Ivan and Amelia, Kula’s Vampire Protectors”

this phrase was tough for me after awhile. Ivan and Amelia were introduced like this several times in the first book. We get it by the second book, but they were introduced like this from start to finish. Every single time the characters showed up, start to finish, they were introduced as Kula’s Vamp protectors…every….time…..

Bottom Line:

 If you liked the first one give it a shot. I will read a third book if R Barri Flowers writes one. For me, this one fell short.

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A Thousand Stolen Moments

A Thousand Stolen Moments banner
Anaiah Press proudly presents
A THOUSAND STOLEN MOMENTS by Connie Ann Michael
a military romantic novel that releases today!

 

Can you choose between fighting for your life and fighting for your heart?
When twenty-two year old Emme Sawyer joins a Marine unit heading into Helmand Providence, she focuses on what she does best: keeping her men safe. But, when the unit is hit by an IED, Emme realizes she can’t save everyone. With her humanity on the line, and her faith in question, she seeks comfort from Raven, her commanding officer. Soon, Emme develops feelings that don’t belong in a combat zone, where each step could be your last.
Raven keeps his emotions locked up tight, never allowing the men to see him sweat. But when Emme joins his unit, all bets are off; and the feelings he thought he left stateside begin to emerge. Knowing that the deserts of Afghanistan are the last place to start a romance, and the United States military’s view on fraternizing; Raven tries to deny his heart. Emme and Raven learn you can’t always choose where love finds you. And that sometimes, you just have to trust in God’s plan.
Get your own copy of A Thousand Stolen Moments:

 

 

About the Author:
Cnnie Ann Michael

 

Connie grew up in Seattle but moved to Central Washington to be closer to all things outdoors. Married with two college boys she keeps busy kayaking, mountain biking, skiing ,and hiking through the beautiful hills of the Wenatchee Valley. Growing up with a love of reading the transition into writing seemed natural and she can be found on summer days writing under the tree in her front yard surrounding by her three dogs.
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