Posts Tagged ‘book review’

The Third Eye of Jenny Crumb, by Martina Dalton

Jenny has a secret.

She’s been hiding it for years. When a boy in her English class comes down with pneumonia, Jenny pretends she didn’t know before the doctors what was ailing him. When the police are called out to a party, she pretends that she has a headache to get her underage friends out before they arrive. Jenny is psychic, and she can’t tell anyone. What would her cheer-leading squad think of her if she said something like that out loud?

But when a girl she doesn’t know goes missing from her school, the visions get a lot more intense, and a lot scarier. A sweaty man with a knife is haunting all her dreams, and he’s doing it at the worst possible times. When a blinding vision causes her to fall off the top of the human pyramid, Jenny has to admit that she has a problem, and it’s not going away.

I enjoyed this story so much I read it all in one sitting. It gets intense very quickly, and kept turning pages just to see what happened next. The writing itself is quite good, and the editing was decent as well. I felt like the characters would have used more contractions in their dialogue, but that’s such a nitpicky thing I’m still giving the book five stars. The characters seemed so natural, and handled their strange situations like real highschoolers might have. I’d recommend this book to teens or adults who like to read like teens. You’ll love it!

To take a look for yourself, click this link:


Review of ‘The Bazaar,’ By Jen Ponce

‘The Bazaar’ by Jen Ponce is an indie book about a suburbanite named Devany Miller. She’s a wife, mother, and social worker at a domestic violence shelter. But all that changes when she steps into a tent at the local fair. The gorgeous proprietor says he’s selling “magic sugar,” but Devany never expects the tent to contain real magic. Even if she did, how would she know magic could be so dark…or so dangerous?
It isn’t long before Devany finds herself inexorably changed. She’s soon sharing a body with a dead spider, a ghostly witch, and a powerful magic battery that every demon in the world would love to get his hands on. But those aren’t the worst of her problems. Her husband, Tom, has more secrets than he’s let on, and Devany finds herself sorting out her new powers while her marriage crumbles around her.
This was a great book. It was a mixture of urban fantasy and horror, entirely peopled by fleshy characters so realistic you could shake their hands. The best part about this book, in my opinion, was the way Devany’s magic and reality seem to slide over each other. Watching her interact with her kids while a disembodied spider commands her to kill is quite the kick. There were some spots where the setting was drawn a little thin for a fantasy world, but the characters were rich enough to make up for it. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can’t wait to read the sequel (it’s already out, by the way, and called Slip Song.)
If you like a little grit to your fantasy, take a look!

Review of Watergirl, By Juliann Whicker

Only in high school can a girl be nicknamed based on her phobia of water.
When Genevieve was a little girl she nearly drowned, and she has been dreaming of death under water ever since. Naturally, the sensitive souls at her school call her Watergirl in honor of her greatest fear. But that’s not the only thing about Gen that makes her feel like an outsider: she has a strong, uncontrollable obsession with the school’s handsome quarterback, Cole. Thanks to his constant snubbing and awful girlfriend Sharkie, Gen has decided to move on to some of the more attainable fish swimming in her particular sea. While she’s at the self-improvement, she’s also decided to learn how to swim. There’s a handsome new boy at school named Oliver, and he seems like just the sort of person to help with her backstroke and help her get over her desperate crush.
It’s not long before Gen realizes there’s something unusual about Oliver, as well the swim team’s ice- king of a captain, Sean. Could they have some connection to her ability to sing so powerfully she loses consciousness, or to the monster that lives in the lake and seems to protect her from her own watery death wish? And is Sean’s mother really as murderous as she seems?
This book was full of round, interesting characters and constant intrigue. It was an easy read, without much to make it inappropriate for young teens. If you like (clean) paranormal romance with a twist, this is the book for you!
Watergirl is available at Amazon:
and Smashwords:

Review: M.A Ray’s The Saga of Menyoral: Hard Luck

Today’s review is of M.A Ray’s debut novel, the Saga of Menyoral: Hard Luck. The main character is Dingus, a sixteen-year-old boy with extraordinarily bad luck. Not only was he born a half-breed in a racist backwater, but he has a tendency to lose his temper in a spectacular way. It would be better for Dingus if he could keep his head down-an ability which he quickly proves he does not possess. He only survives a lynching due to the interference of Sir Vandis Vail, a famous knight with orders from a goddess to make poor Dingus his squire.
I enjoyed Hard Luck more than anything I’ve read in a while. It reads like an extended beginning, which makes sense because it is the first book of what sounds like it will be a pretty long series. Even so, it kept my interest: the characters were as real as people you’d meet on a bus, even the ones that could fly. There was just a hint of the epic battle to come, but there was enough to keep me rooted in place. I read the whole thing in two sittings and wished I had more.
This book was a solid beginning and a riveting debut. If you have time for a well-written fantasy epic in your life, Hard Luck is for you. Five stars here.

You can find Hard Luck at Amazon:

Review of Daughter of Mythos, By Melissa Drake

I recently finished reading “Daughter of Mythos,” by Melissa Drake. This book is a YA fantasy about a girl named Nora with a mysterious past and an uncertain future. Nora is a foster kid, but she has a bigger problem than most: whenever she gets comfortable in a new home, something terrible happens. An unseen force tears her new home apart, leaving Nora to clean up the mess. Usually, that involves moving to yet another foster home, trying to integrate into another new school, and trying to build a life with people who really don’t trust her. When it happens again, she’s off to yet another new home, but this time, something is different. The people here know she is something different. Something special.
It isn’t long before Nora has a quest before her: She will travel through a new world, be dogged my demons and wicked sorcerers, and she will be asked to perform tasks she thought impossible. Along the way, she might fall in love, she might make a new friend, and she might even die. Who knew growing up could be so uncertain?
This book was fun and fast-paced, and the beginning immediately drew me in. The story was interesting throughout, and I kept reading until I got to the end because I wanted to know what happened next. The editing was good and the plotline was easy to follow. It took me a while to read this, though. I think it was because there was a lack of depth: description, dialogue, and character. We are left to make assumptions about creatures and lands we have never seen. We are told Nora is fighting demons, but we are never really told what demons are; what they look like, sure, but not why demons are present in a world that is more Fantasyland than Hell. Mythos is beautiful and has a purple sky, but beyond that I never really got a good image of it in my head. All relationships were a little thin, a little surface-only—I never connected with anyone, even when Nora did. Because of this, emotional impacts didn’t hit as hard as one might hope, and I repeatedly put the book down. In short, this book was not true love for me, but it was true like.
I am giving this book four stars because it was entertaining and I think kids would really enjoy it. My son (who is ten) picked up my Kindle and was hooked. Mythos is a safe world for him to read with Melissa as his tour guide. I have recommended it to a few different young readers. So if you are looking for something light and good fun, you’ll like Daughter of Mythos.

To purchase, please visit Melissa Drake at Amazon:

Review: Hotblood: A House of Slide Novel

Four houses, all alike in dignity, in the town of Sanders where we lay our scene…
Just kidding. You guys thought I was going to get all iambic pentameter for a minute there, didn’t you? How much work do you think that would be, to write a book review in iambic pentameter? And the Bard did whole plays! Sheesh. The Elizabethan era sounds like a lot of effort.
But to the point. I just finished reading Hotblood: A House of Slide novel, by Juliann Whicker. It is a YA paranormal romance set in a world run by four very different breeds of magic users: The Wilds, the Cools, the Hotbloods, and the extinct Hollows. These houses normally don’t interbreed, but about twenty years ago a Wild named Helen and a Cool named Alex fell in love and had two hybrid children named Devlin and Dariana. Hotblood opens on Devlin’s funeral. He’s been murdered, and to solve the mystery of why Helen’s brothers have been sent to help their banished sister. What they find in Helen’s colorless home is Dariana, a teenage girl with no soul who isn’t long for the world.
Hotblood is Dariana’s story, how she came to lose her soul and how she survives it. Juliann Whicker tells the beginning in an almost dreamlike way that puts the reader into the mind of a girl barely surviving. I was hooked from page 1 and read the whole thing through as quickly as I could. I’m normally not that into Paranormal romance because, frankly, I’ve had enough warring vampire/werewolf clans and their senseless love for vapid teenage girls. The strange world built in Hotblood was different because it is so unique I had to figure out how it ran. The main character was remarkably well drawn and very believable as we watch her find her first love.
I give this book a big thumbs-up, and from me definitely a recommended read for anybody who likes a good YA romance with some supernatural flavor. To take a closer look, here’s a link:

Review: The Turn of the Karmic Wheel

I have never written a book review before, but when I was asked to do so by my friend Monica Brinkman I figured I’d better start. Let me explain this about Monica: she’s literally one of the kindest, wisest people I know. I met her about a year ago in my writer’s group, back when she was just finishing up The Turn of the Karmic Wheel. She posted a few chapters and I had the great honor and pleasure of helping in the workshopping process. So when I got the chance to write her a review, I hopped on it. I mean, how exciting is it when a book goes to press that you actually saw in draft form? Who could pass that up?
So here goes. I hope you enjoy my first attempt at a review.
In the small town of Raleigh, MO something really strange is happening. Local people are hearing music from nowhere. Frightening messages that disappear on their own are showing up in the email inboxes of internet moguls. Voices chant sing-song threats at people who have spent their lives hurting others. Then things start to get weird. A man who has always prided himself on his looks starts to grow beastlike hair. A successful local businesswoman develops scales. And three new friends find out they have more in common than they thought. What can be causing the happenings in Raleigh? How can they be stopped?
The action in The Turn of the Karmic Wheel starts on the very first page. It is well-paced and exciting throughout. It is also different from many of the books I’ve read because there is no main character. Instead there’s a town full of wonderful, vivid people. As I read through the book I felt connected and invested in each and every one of them. In fact, my only complaint would be that it seemed to end too quickly. I can’t wait for the sequel Monica’s been promising!
In short, I thought The Turn of the Karmic Wheel was a lovely, insightful book that could only have been written by a lady as wonderful as Monica. If you get a few minutes I would definitely pick it up. It is available both in paperback and ebook. Here’s a link:
One more great thing about this book is that part of the proceeds go to researching a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa, a rare and terrible disease that afflicts not only a child in Monica’s book but also a member of her family. So go, buy now! You won’t regret it.