Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - No comments

Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Paul Cude
Version: eBook (review copy)

Summary (Amazon)
Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past? 
Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? 
In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you’ll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile! 
You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.


I’ve been extremely busy this past month and no, I don’t mean the lame excuse many people use to avoid doing something. I literally mean BUSY. However, I’ve been filling the little bits of free time I have by reading  “Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past” by author Paul Cude. I must say that I have throughly enjoyed this book. Although, I might be a bit biased due to the fact that I love books about magic, dragons, witches, elves, etc…. but who doesn’t?! 

The plot was very unique in the sense that I’ve never come across a book like this - or at least I can’t recall at the moment. In “Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past”, the roles of dragons are to protect and guide humanity towards a greater good. So, purge your mind of fairy tales depicting man-eating beasts, because in this book, the thought of harming a human is blasphemy. Another concept I found unique was the fact that dragon cites were established far beneath the Earth’s surface, where dragons were able to roam about in their true form. Imagine accentually stumbling into a dragon portal, what would you even do? 

One thing I particularly loved about this book was Mr. Cude’s writing style. He never left anything to question and he gave a vivid description of his characters and their surroundings. Also, I absolutely loved the opening of the book! The story of George and the Dragon kept me wanting to read more, and to be honest I was a little sad to discover that it was only a story within a story. However, after getting to know Peter, Tank, and Richie, I can’t complain. For instance, I loved Richie’s competitive, boss attitude; Tank’s loyalty and protective qualities; as well as how easy it was to emphasize with Peter. 

There were very few downfalls about this book, but one was how hard it was for ME to imagine a dragon doing ordinary activities. One thing in particular was the idea of a dragon (in true form) putting on an overcoat… I just couldn’t do it. There were other instances like this, but like I said, it was my lack of imagination and not the authors fault. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Mr. Cude’s twist on fantasy and I highly, highly recommend giving his book a try. Mr. Cude’s next book in the series is set to be released within the next week and is titled “Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation”. 

Link to Download: Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

Rating: 5 Stars
Version: eBook
Author: H.P. Mallory

Life isn't bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn't have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend.
Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she's a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost's demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life!

Word of Jolie’s incredible ability to bring back the dead spreads like wildfire, putting her at the top of the underworld’s most wanted list. Consequently, she finds herself at the center of a custody battle between a villainous witch, a dangerous but oh-so-sexy vampire, and her warlock boss, Rand.

I read this book in December of 2013 and yes it’s been 2 months, but this book definitely deserves a mention and I regret putting it off.  For starters, I received this book from Pixel of Ink for free and was EXTREMELY surprised by how much I loved reading it. At the time, I had just finished reading the first two books of the All Souls Trilogy (A discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night), both of which I have yet to review, and noted several similarities. For instance, you have a witch/vampire attraction, a witch who was unaware of her potential, and a full out species war that resides on the protagonist choices. However, Mallory and Harnkess’s books have enough differences to not feel like you’re rereading the same material with a different twist.

If I had to decide on which work I liked best, I would probably choose Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, because Jolie (the main character) isn’t afraid to use her powers and is a bit more aggressive than Diana Bishop (the All Souls protagonist). Also, this book seemed to progress at a much faster pace, with less time spent wondering “when is this chapter going to be over with?” Another thing, which is unrelated to the content the book, but is something that I loved, is the cover art. The cover art appeals to my sense of Halloween and what a book about a witch should look like. It is so much more attractive than any of the All Souls dust jackets - The reason I say dust jackets is because, the hardcover editions of the All Souls trilogy are black with gold/orange star decorations, which are amazing.

As for the story, It was fast paced, action packed, and contained an ideal amount of romance. As I’ve said before, I’m not one for stories that rely heavily on romance, so it was nice to be able to read without cringing. 

I didn’t intend to mention the All Souls trilogy so much in this review, but because the concepts were similar, I find it hard not to compare them. As I said before, the concepts are unique in and of themselves and are easily distinguishable. Please give this book a chance and read it, because you won’t be disappointed. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014 - , , , No comments

White Space

Rating: 1.5 Stars
Author: Ilsa Bick
Version: ARC review copy

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.

Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end.

I really wanted to like this book, I truly did, but I was unable to read past 40%.

After viewing the description and the cover art, I was super excited about the concept and couldn't wait to begin reading. However, the more I read, the more confused I became. For starters, I felt like I was thrown into Libby's world without any background information at all. The made up words and symbols that seemed to be extremely important, were never defined and it was extremely frustrating. For example, what is the sign of Sure, what exactly is thought energy, are the metal creatures alive, and why is Libby's quilt so important ? There were plenty more, but I can't remember them all, because I put down the book hoping I would want to finish it later. Sadly, I don't plan on doing so. To see how others felt about White Space, I checked Goodreads. Apparently, many agree that they don't like swimming in 500 pages of confusion before they understand what's happening.

Another thing I found annoying was the numerous point-of-view changes. After trying to cope with the new environment and the flux of made up words, I felt switching between 4 and 5 characters, each in a new situation, was extremely unnecessary.

I was also unprepared for the horror sections I read. After all, people were comparing White Space to Inkheart and the idea of flesh being severed from bone, bloody snow, and empty eye sockets was not something I envisioned. However, if you don't mind horror, the blizzard scene is extremely similar to Stephen King's movie "The Mist".

This book will probably be amazing to someone, but for me it was a complete let down. For those reading this review, please do not let my opinion sway you from reading the book. If you are interested, please give it a try and form your own opinion.