Showing posts with label Terri Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Terri Review. Show all posts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: The Spark

The Spark by David Drake
Publication Date November 7, 2017 by Baen
Reviewed by Terri
4 Twisted Stars

Synopsis:

NEW STANDALONE NOVEL BY SF MASTER DAVID DRAKE. In a violent world in which civilization has fallen and monsters roam, a young hero will rise.

In the time of the Ancients the universe was united—but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves—some tiny, some ruined, some wild.

Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind—

And there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.

A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce—the return of civilization.

Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he's been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization.

Pal has no idea of what he's really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.

THE SPARK: A story of hope and violence and courage. And especially, a story of determination. (Goodreads)


Review:

Fantasy is not for every reader but I happen to like it a lot. For me, the most important part of fantasy is world-building. The idea of creating a world from nothing fascinates and challenges me. This author nailed the world-building and created a mesh between high fantasy and techno science fiction. There were some parts I needed to reread to understand all the details but overall it was fun and tickled my imagination.

This is a true hero's journey where Pal fights to live a life that is to the betterment of mankind. He is an all around good guy. I liked that. He never steered from his focus and lost motivation. It was easy to see his true character in the dialog and the plot development. In fact, I thought every character was well developed and the author stayed true to each of them.

The only issue I have with this story is more a personal preference thing. Pal went on several adventures and had several big fights. However, there wasn't one big climactic moment. It was a series of smaller moments. I don't remember much of the literary devices used in a "hero's journey" story so I that may have been the author's goal. I don't think this distracted from the story. It was a good story and I kept turning the pages because I wanted to see how it ended.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Temptation Trials

Temptation Trials Part 1 by B. Truly
Self-Published June 3, 2017
Reviewed by Terri
3 Stars

Synopsis:

The Bachelorettes Meet Wild Things 

Part I of Temptation Trials

Will you be Tempted? Will Love save your Soul?

One nation under his reign.
Cardinal sins of man caused humanity to pay the price. Cali Nasser grew up in a world succeeding World War III. The aftermath forced the world dictatorship that she must now live in. A new Regime arose from the ashes. They demanded obedience and cooperation from every citizen, even in matters of the heart.

One domain ... One accord … One nation. In Cali’s eyes, the moral code revolves around a twisted plot for control.
It used to sicken Cali how people would allow the Regime to test their love through the Temptation Trials. That is, until she met Kincade. Cali’s entire point of view changes when she falls for him. She struggles with herself, debating if she should challenge the government’s law of arranged marriage.

Cali’s childhood friend, Stefani, always kept a positive perspective about their lives until she was threatened with the same dilemma, at odds over the man she loves.

Now Cali and Stefani face a desperate choice—submit to the Regime’s will, or fight for what they value most—love. Although lust, mistaken for love, could lead to damnation. Do they give up on love or sign up for the Temptation Trials, a reality TV show where every temptation is laid before them?
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Can love save their souls?

Rated Mature 18 +
Adult, Dystopian Romance with sensuality, sexual content, and love triangles. (Goodreads)


Review:

The best part of dystopian stories is the slight sense of reality in the storyline. And with as crazy as the world seems these days, it's almost like watching the aftermath of a car accident; ya know you shouldn't, but you can't help but slow down and stare as you drive by. The storyline for this book is great. A pair of new adult girls hook up with a pair of hot new adult rebels and join together to fight the good fight. The author uses a dual POV and does a good job distinguishing between the two main characters. 

Where this story lacked and why I'm rating it a three has to do with the overall execution and presentation. There were several holes in the plot line. For example, in one scene one of the couples comes under some heavy shooting. In the previous scene, they were handcuffed together. They discuss running away at separate times but don't mention getting out of the handcuffs until several scenes later. Some of the dialog and word choices felt a little off for young adults. There was also a lot of repetitive info dumps. 

I think the author has done a great job creating a whole story. It has strong merit and deserves a chance to shine. With a little editing, this book could easily be a five-star.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Interview With The Villain & Review: Torment





Torment
The Damned Series
Book Four
By LM Pruitt

Release Date August 8, 2017

Genre: PNR

Book Description:

Enemies are so stimulating.--Katherine Hepburn

If you can look past the part where they're trying to kill you.

The Damned want my head on a platter. The Winged have similar plans.

As for Morning Star and the Power... well, only They know.

One false step... and everything is lost.

CONTAINS SCENES OF GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL ACTIVITY. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Amazon


Interview with a Villain

(I’ll admit, when I was given this particular interview topic, I was stumped—mostly because the true villain for the Damned series has yet to be revealed. So instead, I decided to sit down a fan favorite who may or may not have villainous intent—Lilith, the current reigning leader of the succubae.)

--So, I think we’d all like to know—why make the jump from being Adam’s first wife to being, for all intents and purposes, a demon?

I’ll be honest, I’m surprised anyone in this day and age even remembers I was married to Adam before Eve—who was, I’m not ashamed to say, a much better wife than me, even taking in to account the whole eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge thing. I’m not surprised by the fact people just assume I went straight for the so-called dark side. It’s never really a fall from grace—it’s more a gradual slide and tumble down the hill.

--So what caused your slide down the hill?
A man, of course (light laughter). The man, at least for me. And not a man so much as one of the Watchers, although they weren’t called that in the beginning. In the beginning, he was just Samael. And then, when the other Watchers Fell and Heaven was closed, he became the Angel of Death—fitting, since it was the career change which killed our marriage.

--And it was after this… career change that you had a change of your own?

People do desperate and stupid things when they’ve had their heart broken. I don’t apologize for any of the things I did or the choices I made. I rebuilt myself and then I gave other women the chance to do the same.

--Now, I understand in theory what a succubae is and what they do but I’d like to hear from the original succubus on those topics.

We tempt people—mostly men, although some of the girls specialize in women and some are indiscriminate—with the sex of their wildest dreams and then harvest their energy. We rarely kill anyone, simply because it’s messy and time-consuming and causes so many complications with the other side. The energy is pooled, some of it being sent to Morning Star and the rest being redistributed back to the girls. It’s a nice, tidy little system.

--But not everybody is happy with the system.

If I spent my time trying to make everybody happy I would never get anything else done.

--Which isn’t really an answer to the question.

Well, you didn’t really ask a question, did you? (long pause) The situation is being handled. Not as quickly and efficiently as I would prefer but it’s being handled. I fully believe it will be resolved in the next few months.

--My sources tell me you’re looking at abdicating your position to one of the leaders of the so-called rebellion, Julie Watson, who also happens to be one of your newest girls. Why would you willing step down from the position you created after all this time?


What can I say? We all make sacrifices for love.


4 DEMONIC STAR REVIEW:

Starting a series in the middle is always a risk. It must be hard for authors to balance continuing the story for devoted fans while also creating a book that could attack new readers. I think the author of this book did a good job of both. This is book four of the Damned series. I will admit, there were times when I was a little confused as to what was going one, but Pruitt did a good job of filling in the gaps of the story line. I like the fast speed of the plot kept me entertained and I pretty much ignored everyone until I made it to the end. I just wanted to see what would happen next. I like the idea behind this story and I do not know of another story that creates demon characters as anti-heroes. I believe, if I had started this book from the beginning I would have a closer connection to the characters and the premise of the story. 

Reviewed by Terri


Excerpt:

“You’ll catch cold if you stay out here much longer.”
I didn’t turn around, continuing to study the skyline. “I’m fine.”
“It’s three in the morning. You should be asleep.” He didn’t sound angry about the fact I wasn’t or the fact I was standing outside in late September in sleep pants and a thin cotton tank. If anything, his scolding sounded as if it was for form and nothing else. “It’s been a long day for all of us.”
“Yes.” Now I did turn around, studying Barry with the same intensity I’d shown the various buildings of Prague. “Why are you mad at me?”
“I’m not mad.” He pulled a cigar from the pocket of his sleep pants but didn’t light it, staring at the tip for a moment before sliding it back in his pocket. “I’m tired, Julie. As I said, it’s been a long day. The next few days—weeks, rather—promise to be equally long. We all need to sleep, to keep our strength up for what lies ahead.”
“You haven’t touched me since we got back.” Since he stood in front of my sister and ripped her heart out and then walked away without a backward glance. “You’ve barely said anything all night long.”
“As I said, I’m tired.” He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, letting out a long sigh. “There’s been quite a bit of upheaval in the last thirty-six hours or so. Quite a bit. Forgive me if I’m not my usual charming self. You have more than enough people here to pay you attention if you’re feeling uncared for.”
“That’s not what I meant.” I turned back to the city view, widening my eyes and blinking rapidly in an effort to keep the tears at bay. I didn’t have a problem with using tears as a weapon when they were called for but I wouldn’t use them with him, ever. “You’re right. It’s late. Go to sleep. I’m fine.”
“We both know I’m not going to sleep until you do.” I heard the sound of metal scraping over concrete and glanced over my shoulder to find he’d pulled one of the patio chairs free of the table. Sitting down and stretching out his legs, he said, “As long as you’re here, I’m here.”
“Barry—.”
“Arguing will only frustrate us both, Julie Elizabeth, and we’ve had enough frustration for the day.” He slid further down in the seat, almost slouching, and crossed his arms. “As long as you’re here, I’m here.”
“But do you want to be here?” The question tumbled out before I even realized it was in my mind and I bit my tongue, already regretting it. “Never mind. You don’t have to answer that.”
“Come here.” When I didn’t move, he uncrossed his arms and held out one hand. “Please.”
Crossing the balcony, I took his hand, curling up in his lap and resting my head on his shoulder. We sat in silence for a few minutes before he cleared his throat. “I don’t know any other way to say it. I can simply say as long as you’re here, I’m here. When you want to leave, we’ll leave.”
“And where would we go?” Joanne’s face in the instant after Barry verbally sucker punched her, Asmodeus’s face the second after I shot him, flashed through my mind and I hunched my shoulders as if the memory carried a physical blow. “There’s no place left. We burned all those bridges today.”
“The thing about bridges is they can always be rebuilt and when they are, they’re stronger than before they burned.” He brushed my hair away from my face, stroking one hand down my back and pulling me tighter against him. “But since you don’t want to leave, the discussion is moot.”
“We’re doing the right thing.”
“The right thing done the wrong way is no longer the right thing.”
“If there was a way to do this differently, we would have taken it.” We’d tried to take it. We’d tried to meet the others halfway. Nobody—Lilith, Asmodeus, the Power, Morning Star—wanted to bend.
So we would have to break them.
“After the raids begin today, there is no turning back. You and your supporters will be branded traitors. There will be bounties on your heads.” He pressed his lips to my hair, breathing deep. “On all our heads. You’ve never lived through a war.”
It wasn’t a question but I answered anyway. “No, I haven’t.”
“I’ve been through more than my fair share, even considering my age. When it’s impossible to die from manmade weapons, you tend to fight in wars simply to alleviate the boredom.” He turned, pressing his face in to my hair. “And they’re nothing compared to supernatural wars. So far you’ve only seen the pretty side of Hell. There are things which will be unleashed which should never exist out of nightmares.”
“On us or by us?”
“Both.” His hand shook as he stroked my back and I wasn’t sure if he was trying to comfort me or himself. “Some things can’t be unseen or unfelt. You’ll carry it with you until the day you die.”
“Are you trying to scare me?”
“I’m trying to warn you. Up until now, everything about this war has been theoretical. Until today, no true shots were fired.” He drew back, his face unnaturally somber, even for him. “I know you did what you had to do and I don’t fault you for that decision.”
“But I officially started the war.” I nodded. “I know. I’ll live with it.”
“Things will get worse.” He pressed a kiss to my forehead. “They always do.”
“And then they get better.” I had to believe that. If I didn’t, then there was a good chance I was wrecking and ruining lives for no reason at all. I pressed my lips to his, lightly, for comfort more than anything else. “Things will be better. We’re going to make them better.”
We didn’t have any other choice.


About the Author:

L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she's killed bamboo. Twice.  She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel.






Review: Of Fame and Fate

of Flame and Fate by Cecy Robson
Weird Girls Book 8, Flame Book 2
Publication Date September 26, 2017
Reviewed by Terri
5 FLAMING STARS!

Synopsis:

Taran Wird, who commands the power to wield fire and lightning, is an oddity in the supernatural world. But neither Taran nor her unique sisters compare to the bizarre entity known as Destiny. And Taran is assigned to protect her.

Born of two witches, Destiny is revered among the supernatural elite for her acute ability to predict the future. Her biggest prophecy involves Taran’s sister, Celia, whom Destiny decreed will bear children strong enough to take on the evil that’s rising. Yet Destiny is not alone in her predictions, or individuality.

When Johnny Fate, a rock star among humans and a male version of Destiny is discovered, his powers and Destiny’s clash, triggering the start of Destiny’s demise and altering the fate of Celia’s unborn children.

Taran, her werewolf lover Gemini, and their allies must determine if it’s Fate who will decide what will become of Celia’s children, or if their lives and the world will perish with Destiny. (Goodreads)


Review: 

I read Cecy Robson's first book in this series a couple of years ago. I read the next two as fast as I could. Then every time the next book released, I ordered it and read it within a day. There was a lag between a couple, and I found a few other series, and I lost track of this series. When I came across the chance to review this book, I realized there were two books I had not read. So I quickly read those two, so I could catch up in this series. I think this book CAN be read as a stand alone, but it is a lot better if you read the whole series or at least the two books right before this. 

The women in this series are as kick-ass as any I've read. The spotlight is on Taran in this book. She struggles with accepting that unconditional love is not only possible, but she is worthy of it.  The passion she feels for Gemini is strong, and it will help her through anything if she remembers to trust and rely on it. Robson has created such life-like characters I feel a strong connection and would totally take them all out for a beer if I could.

The fast-paced action pushed me to read "just one more chapter" until I finished it. The world building is so solid; it was easy to SEE this book as if I was watching a movie.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Gone With The Dead

Stories By 
Christina and the Virus by Sarah Bale - A Dead Man is Hard to Find by Ellay Branton - A Piece of Him by R. L. Merrill - A Happy Medium by Freddie Milano - Bait by Isabelle Drake - Bloody Line by Carolyn Haven - Devil’s in the Well by Harley Easton - A Ferocious Blossom by Marie Piper - Kissing Summer by Megan Hart - If I Only Knew By Genevieve Williams - Animals by Sue Ayers - Dogs of War by Andrew Robertson - The Music Man by Kimberlie L. Faye - Fallen by Xio Axelrod - Leftovers by Cassandra Chandler - Here for You by Kate L. Mary
Published May 3, 2017 by Riverdale Avenue Books
Reviewed by Terri
5 Deadly Stars!!



Synopsis:

An Anthology of Romance and Horror where Gone with the Wind meets The Walking Dead! 

When a convention of more than 4,000 romance writers and readers descends upon Atlanta Georgia, it can only mean one thing…a mash-up of two of the finest Georgia traditions. 

Erotic romance anthologist Lori Perkins has brought together 16 tales of Southern love and death in this unique short story collection. (Goodreads)




Review:

I am not a huge Gone With the Wind fan (please don't throw rocks), but I am in love with the antebellum south. And if you read many of my reviews, you know I love a good paranormal story line. So this anthology of short stories truly felt like a good fit for me. I enjoy reading anthologies because I get introduced to several authors at one time. There was not one author in this group that I had heard about before reading this. Now I'm in love with each one of them and added several to my TBR.

Not everyone likes short stories, but I love them. I honestly think they are harder to write because there is limited space to tell the story. Each one of these authors did a fantastic job of creating powerful stories that started with a bang and ended with an even bigger bang. The plots moved fast, the characters were well-developed, and the stories felt original. It's hard to say which were my favorites. There was only one I could not finish and that was no because it was written badly. In fact, it was written so well it gave me the willies. It was about bugs and I hated bugs. If a gun was held to my head and I had to pick two, I would pick "A Piece of Him" and "A Ferocious Blossom".  But trust me when I say all these stories are good. It would be fun to read some of these for a Halloween book club.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Follow the Ashes

Follow the Ashes by Kindra Sowder
Executioner Trilogy Book 1
Published January 10, 2015 by Burning Willow Press
Reviewed by Terri
3 Fangs


Synopsis:

What does it mean to be the Executioner?
Is it the struggle between good and evil, and the fulfillment of a Gypsy legend?
For Robin, it’s simply another day in the park in downtown LA. It’s killing the undead as she attempts to juggle life and love the same as any other ordinary woman would. That is until she meets Gordon, a crazed demon with a conscience. Now she must battle an ancient evil far more powerful then she’s ever faced before, or risk losing the world to Lilith, the mother of all vampires.
Will she save mankind? Or will we all follow the ashes of destruction as we burn in Hell? (Goodreads)

Review:
The idea behind this book is a nice twist on the vampire hunter trope. I really liked the prologue because I feel like it set up the pace of the book and gave a cool hint as to what was going to happen next. I would have liked to give the author a higher rating, but it needs some more work to make it that perfect read. It does have potential for being an excellent series.

What I would like to see in the next book in this series is more character development, a lot more dialogue, and more detailed fight scenes. What can I say? I'm a woman of action, well, one that loves to read action scenes that make me feel as though the fight were taking place in front of my very own eyes.

I really think the author has a good backbone here, and would love to see it grow within the pages of the next book.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: The Vessel Trilogy

Purchase information, Excerpts, and more on this series can be found in the Spotlight below.

Book One: 3 Shimmering Stars
Who doesn't love a chick who can fight and a hot protector and if that doesn't sound great throw in an ancient prophecy between good and evil? That's a good start for a series and for an urban fantasy reader like me that is Nirvana. However, I would like to see a new twist on this trope. This series did not do that. The author even starts the story in a dance club, just like a lot of books. The author has a great idea for this book and the rest of the trilogy, but I just felt like the story lacked depth. Everything seemed to flow without too many hitches and the conflicts that did arise ended too fast. I would like to have seen a little more inner turmoil with Genevieve as she struggles with her new powers and destiny.  

I finished this book because I agreed to review it. The story and characters were ok and I liked it enough to read the next story. The author created enough groundwork for the rest of this trilogy that I am curious enough to see what happens next.

Book Two: 3 Shimmering Stars
I'm glad I continued reading this series because book two was better than book one and I would rate it a 3.5 if I could. In this book, the characters seem to have a little more depth and the plot is driven by the characters and not the need to just tell the story. It is easier to see the inner conflict that I did not see in book one, but the author still relies more on cliches instead of creating a new story. The prophecy still drives Genevieve to develop her powers as a vessel and Jude continues to protect her and oversee her development. The ultimate battle is coming soon and sides will be chosen by all. I do like the connections the author makes to mythology and literature through the names of her characters and settings. 

This one was easier to read than the first one and I think the author did an even better job with the cliffhanger at the end.   

Book Three: 4 Mystical Stars (one minor spoiler)
The biggest issue I have had with this series is the lack of character depth. I think because so much of the focus is on Genevieve in this book, it is easier to really see who she is and how she has developed throughout this series. This is my favorite of the three books. I also think because Gen and Jude were not so focused on sex they had the chance to develop a deeper relationship we saw a stronger connection between them. 

The biggest issue I've had with this series is the lack of elaboration is some of the scenes. Things just always seem to go in Gen's favor without much effort. The final battle is a good example. It just seemed to happen and yes, Gen was attacked but there wasn't much of a fight to win and I think the twist at the end would have been better if the author alluded to it before just throwing it out there. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Way Down Below

Way Down Below by Nicole Thorn & Sarah Hall
Published November 2, 2016 by CHBB
Review by Terri
4 Stalking Stars


Synopsis:

Ever since Luc Bishop’s brother died, he and his sisters have been hunting his killer. The last thing Luc expected was to meet Shiloh. 

Shiloh Whittaker has spent her entire life trapped by her family’s religious beliefs. When she meets Luc, her entire world is turned upside down. For the last couple of years, Shiloh and her best friend, Faith, have been pulling away from their structured upbringing. 

Then they meet the Bishops, three of many children Lucifer has sired. Shiloh wants nothing to do with them, but finds herself caught up in their lives when their brother’s killer comes back to play. With the killer circling, and Shiloh torn between two desires, she feels more caged than ever. (Goodreads)


Review: 

This was a fun book to read. For the most part, the characters read like they were supposed to; meaning they acted, talked, and lived like new adults do in real life. They weren't looking for any real deep meaning in life. There was no intense save-the-world-prophecy they needed to fulfill. They were just kids, acting like kids. This book is like any YA/NA book with kids who must stand up to oppressive adults, however, these authors added a fun twist by creating three of the characters to be the children of Satan and two of the characters to be daughters of ultra-conservative religious families. I think the authors did a good job presenting the battle of church vs. evil without banging it over the reader's head.

The fast paced plot drew me in from the beginning and pushed me to see how it ended. I liked the dialog and character development of all the characters, both major and minor. If I had any complaints about the book it would be the final battle ended way too fast.

Review by Terri

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Secrets of the Slain

Secrets of the Slain by Lindsey Goddard
Published June 14, 2017 by Burning Willow Press
5 Bloodcurling Screams!

Synopsis:

A collection of poetry and short stories created to tantalize your senses and wreak havoc on your mind, each tale further challenging your perception of what reality is and what it is not. Be prepared to see inside of the soul of Lindsey Goddard and share in her “Secrets of the Slain” (Goodreads)







Review:

So many things to like about this book, it is hard to know where to begin. The author hooks me in from the introduction. Perhaps it's because I can relate when she mentions how busy her life is and she has to fit in writing when she can. I love her attitude. She writes short stories and poems because this is easier to feed her muse. Her short stories are strong and vivid, but her poetry is even more so. The emotions she uses to drive her stories are ones all readers can relate to. Two of the stories, "The Running" and "Old Man Stump" appear in this book for the first time anywhere. "The Running" is my favorite of the short stories. It presents a crazy other worldly situation, but the author presents in a great believable way. I felt what her characters felt when I read this story. If I had to pick another story I liked, it would be "Red Mask". It's an emotional heart-wrenching story with a dash of freaky sprinkled in for good measure.  I think "Freak" has the makings of a good series. I finished this in a little over an hour not just because it was shorter than most of the books I read, but because I HAD to keep reading to see how all the other stories ended.

Review by Terri

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