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TheGemstoneChronicles

TheGemstoneChronicles

Post-apocalyptic excellence!!

I read Edge of the World by Zeece Lugo and enjoyed the story and the characters. I decided to check out more of the story by reading Daniel’s Fork: A Mystery Set in the Daniel’s Fork Universe. Good choice on my part! Please note the disclaimer about the strong sexual content.

 

Synopsis (from the author): A vicious killer lurks in the dark woods of Daniel’s Fork. Cunning, daring, unrelenting, driven by a powerful obsession, he has killed with impunity for years, evading capture and justice. But now, a new adversary has come to town, and the hunt is on!

In a world without forensics, technology, science, with only the help of the village “witch” and his trusted companions, can William Evers, the new lord of Daniel’s Fork, catch the serial killer that has plagued the village for seven years and save the lovely Susanna from a fate worse than death?

Begin a journey to the future past, to a place 200 years in the future where humanity thrives as it starts over again. Meet Will Evers, the daring, arrogant, handsome new lord of Daniel’s Fork as he endeavors to catch an elusive killer and prove himself a worthy leader. Join his loyal companions and lovers whose only religion is their love for each another. Watch Setiyah, the wise healer, as she endeavors to resist and at the same time, accept, the roguish new lord.

At Daniel’s Fork, you’ll find no zombies, no post-apocalyptic terror, no technology, no religion, no monsters other than the human kind. Earth the way it should be. Mankind still driven by passion!

THIS NOVEL CONTAINS SOME STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER READERS AND OTHERS WHO OBJECT TO SUCH CONTENT. THERE ARE TWO CHAPTERS THAT CONTAIN EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME READERS.

 

What I liked: Zeece Lugo has created a great post-apocalyptic world where technology doesn’t exist. The characters are certainly memorable, and the passion of the characters - and the author are evident throughout the book. The story itself has plenty of twists and turns, intrigue abounds, and the ending very nicely ties up any loose ends. Daniel’s Fork was a very enjoyable read!

 

What I didn’t like: I don’t have any objections to strong content, and the scenes that contain it in this book are well done, but, at least for me, they didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the book. The graphic description seemed over the top and didn’t add to the story overall.

 

Overall impression: Daniel’s Fork was an excellent read. Despite my comments above about the sexual content, the book was well-paced, well-written, and filled with the action, intrigue, and romance that keep me interested. I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys steamy post-apocalyptic books! Well done Zeece Lugo!

 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Fast-paced and entertaining!

The premise of this book drew me right in. I mean who wouldn’t want to read about aliens, a secret mission to save Earth, and a hero without a memory.

Synopsis (from the author): What do two alien races, planet Earth, memory lost, secret organizations, angels, magic, demons, space flight, spirits and the hope of all mankind have in common?
His name is D`ae but on Earth he is known as Kirk Alexander Doyle. Sent to earth on a secret mission to save Earth from with in D`ae is captured and his memory is wiped. His handlers have been trying to contact him for years with no result. The United Earth Bureau of Investigation is out to capture him. The leader of an opposing Alien race wants him dead. Kirk is just trying to understand why he has all these powers that make him different from everyone else.

What I liked: D’ae or Kirk, depending on who he is at any moment, was an interesting character. Part angel, part mystery, he wanders through Earth trying to escape the Earth authorities that want to capture him. His adventures and interactions with the humans were entertaining and inspiring. Even his attempt to rescue the women captured for the aliens was a selfless act. The story itself was an interesting mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and thriller and kept me interested until the end.

What I didn’t like: The story had multiple POVs, which made it a bit difficult to follow at times. I also thought it could have used some additional editing and the writing could have been tighter.

Overall impression: The Wanderer: Book One of the Godsend Series: Section One was an entertaining read. I liked the characters, the storyline, and the action of the book. I think it needs some additional editing and it would be an excellent read.

My rating: 4 Stars

The Battle in On!

 

 

As with most of my recent reads, I found some buzz about this on social media. I did a little research on Brisingamen (and found it was part of Norse mythology), and I had to read it!

 

Synopsis (from the author): There is a World not too Far Away ...

Beneath the north sea a land of magic lies undetected. The lives of many are drawn inexorably closer together in a race against time, as both energy companies and evil beings attempt to destroy the magic which is protecting not just this land but all worlds. The unwitting protagonists have no idea of how suddenly and irrevocably their lives are about to change.

It is a race against time to try and recover the lost necklace, Brisingamen, which holds the ancient power of the Goddess Freya, and to prevent the undersea drilling from taking place. Are Aart, Matthias, Gemma and Dirck up to the challenges they now must face?

Here there be Dragons, and all manner of Creatures ...

 

What I liked: The Battle for Brisingamen was a great concept. Blending current archaeology (Doggerland) and mythology made for an interesting read. The different characters from Norse mythology, the mystery surrounding Gemma, and the cool blending of werewolves and vampires, kept my attention throughout the book. And the introduction of Yggdrasil into the mix capped it off for me!

 

What I didn’t like: Despite the cool characters, it was a little difficult to keep everyone straight - especially during battles. There were a couple of sex scenes that really didn’t seem necessary to the plot, especially between Dirck and Gemma, and the way Dirck adapted to his new circumstances was too pat for me.

 

Overall impression: The Battle for Brisingamen was a very good read! The story was great, the characters memorable, and the interweaving of mythology and current day was well done. I would recommend this one to fantasy readers and Norse mythology buffs!

 

My rating: 4 Stars

Bewitchingly good!!

I read the first book of the Fearless series, The Forest Bull, by Terry Maggert (and gave it 4 Stars), so when I saw this book and its interesting cover, I knew I would be in for a treat. I was correct!

 

Synopsis (from the author): Carlie McEwan loves many things.
She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY—a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is twenty-five pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her Grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest—and only—real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.
When a blonde stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me.
Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie’s magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she’ll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.

 

What I liked: I have to say that I liked this story! Carlie was a good witch and her regular job as a cook in the local diner made her believable. Her cat acted like a typical cat with all the quirks associated with the animal - despite being her familiar. I liked the occasional interaction with her grandmother and her amazing magic. The addition of the cop as part of the trek into the forest to save the ghost made a nice addition, as did the potential love interest (in the form of a half-Viking half-vampire who lives in the forest). Add to that the excellent writing style and you have an entertaining read!

 

What I didn’t like: One of the characters referenced in the synopsis was Major Pickford, who appeared to have potential as a antagonist. Other than the brief appearance, the character disappeared, and since he had asked Carlie to accompany him to the chestnut trees, I thought he would play a significant role. I was left wondering why he was included. I also would have liked more about Carlie’s grandmother.

 

Overall impression: Halfway Dead is a well-written, entertaining book. With a nice plot, memorable characters, and enough action to keep my interest, this is an excellent read. Give this one a try!

 

My rating: 5 Stars!!

Think entertaining!!

Cozy style mysteries aren’t usually a go-to genre for me, but I am trying to expand my reading horizons. I decided to give Think Murder by Cassidy Salem a shot. I must say I was entertained!

 

Synopsis (from the author): Adina Donati came to Washington D.C. to find excitement, not a dead body.

When a friend is murdered, Adina is drawn into the middle of the police investigation. Tensions rise as the suspect list expands to include Adina, her friends, and colleagues at the prestigious think tank where she works. But every cloud has a silver lining. Between the nice detective, the hot new volunteer at the dog rescue center, and the newly available preppy ex-boyfriend, Adina's dating dry spell appears near its end. That is, if she doesn't become the next victim.

 

What I liked: The story was interesting and held my interest. Adina was a fresh take on the overworked (and underpaid) office minion. Her budding potential romance with the detective and the flirtations with another volunteer at the animal rescue shelter made for an interesting side story. The clues to the killer’s identity were nicely scattered throughout the story and did keep me guessing for a large part of the book.

 

What I didn’t like: Despite Adina’s likeability, I thought her reaction to the murder could have been more realistic. The budding relationships between Adina and her potential beaus as a predictable part of the book, too, and I thought Bruce (from the animal rescue center) would have made a great suspect.

 

Overall impression: Think Murder was a well-written and entertaining book. The plot could have been a bit more complex, but the book was an easy enjoyable read!

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

Definite 5 Stars!!

I read the first book of the Tales of Nevaeh, Born to Magic and gave it 5 Stars in my review. When David Wind released The Dark Masters, I had to buy it! Like its predecessor, it was a great read!

 

Synopsis (from the author): Across the sea, the sorcerers known as the Dark Masters, launch a fleet of ships with tens of thousands of warriors. In Nevaeh, charged with an epic journey, Areenna and Mikaal, armed only with their psychic abilities, their swords and Areenna's bow, must travel to the desolate Frozen Mountains. There, in the unchartered dangerous region, they must discover not just the legends, but the millennia old secret awaiting them in their fight to save Nevaeh from extermination.

 

What I liked: David Wind has created an interesting future world where women have magic, men have battle skills, and the animals are mutated versions of current creatures. I enjoyed the way our heroes bonded with their animal friends and how the animals shared power and abilities with them. The battle scenes are well done, and I think the Sixes are cool! Interspersed in the story is the growing attraction between Areenna and Mikaal and their battle to keep it at bay. I also liked the overall theme of the battle between good and evil, and the surprising twist in the mountains was a nice touch!

 

What I didn’t like: About the only criticism I have is I thought more could have been done to explore the people Areenna and Mikaal met as they journeyed to the mountains. I’m sure it will be a part of the next book, though, so my questions will be answered!

 

Overall impression: As with the first book, this was an excellent read! Filled with memorable characters, excellent battle scenes, and intrigue and romance, I would recommend The Dark Masters to any fantasy fan! Well done, David Wind!!

 

My rating: 5 Stars!!

Nothing Dry about the read!!

— feeling big smile

As with most of my recent reads, I saw some buzz about The Dry on Twitter, so I checked it out. The blurb was intriguing, and I picked it up. Good choice!

Synopsis (from the author): West Virginia, 1895
A deadly dry spell has left the earth parched and souls desperate. Crops are failing. Cities are starving. A missing newspaper man doesn't account for much in times so terrible, except to the twelve-year-old son he left behind. When Elliot Sweeney discovers the search for his father has been called off, he boards a train alone to find him.
His quest leads Elliot into the depths of an abandoned mine, with a peculiar pocket watch, a blind burro, and a gutsy girl at his side. He finds a world he never dreamed of, even in his worst nightmares, and lands smack in the middle of a war between two kingdoms. Monstrous insects, smiling villains, and dark riddles are everywhere.
˃˃˃ Greed! Drought! Child-slavery!
Elliot must decide who to trust, the horrible Prince LeVane who is turning the entire world to dust, has enslaved hundreds of children, and is working his father to death? (If Elliot doesn't go to the water lands to retrieve the mysterious knife that LeVane demands, his father will die.) Or should Elliot trust the fascinating water nymph, Queen Tosia, who says she will help him rescue his father? But then he overhears her making plans to kill him.
˃˃˃ A page turner!
Will loyalty, family, and love prevail over greed and exploitation? Deciding who to trust may prove to be Elliot's greatest challenge, while the fate of the world above hangs on his choice.

What I liked: Rebecca Nolen created a horrific scenario of a deadly drought that is devastating the country, and a missing father trying to discover why children are disappearing. Elliot, the missing newspaper reporter’s son, sets off to find his father, and the adventure begins. The boy meets Lefty, a young girl searching for her brother, is sucked into a fantastic underground world, fights bugs, wasps, and other creatures, including Prince LeVane, the evil ruler of the dry world underground. Good story, great characters, sacrifices for family and friends, and an innocent look at the world make this an amazing read. It made me want to be a part of the adventure! The interesting facts about the wasps added a nice little touch, too.

What I didn’t like: The flow of the story was a little rambling, and some parts were disconnected to me, and took me out of the story occasionally.

Overall impression: I enjoyed the book. I connected with Elliot’s character and appreciated the actions of the wasps. And, I learned cool things about wasps! Overall, it was an excellent read for MG and above!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Great Prequel

I read Souls of the Never by Colin J Rutherford last year and gave it 4.5 stars. When Colin Rutherford decided to pen the prequel to the book, I had to read it. This one is good!

 

Synopsis (from the author): Teralia, a world of light and beauty; it holds the core of magic that infuses the universe.
Here, two friends, closer than brothers are destined to become the mightiest among the immortal Elven race.
One will fall, ensnared by an ancient evil, thought destroyed eons ago.
The other will face a desperate choice to save a doomed world.
Ultimately, only one can prevail.

 

What I liked: Colin Rutherford did a great job of filling in the background for his story. He reveals the story behind the story in just the right way. The interplay between the two friends, the reason for the descent into evil and madness was handled just right, and the sacrifices made set the stage perfectly for Souls of the Never.

 

What I didn’t like: About the only criticism I have is that some of the characters didn’t flesh out as much as I would have liked (Or’n, for instance), and that the dragons gave in a bit too easily.

 

Overall impression: Well written, great background on the Souls of the Never series, and an overall excellent read. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a primer on the series, or who wants a short but entertaining story!

 

My rating: 5 Stars!

 

Excellent Sci-Fi

Kyrathaba Rising - William Bryan Miller, Perry Mowbray, Leor Jackal

Science fiction is not my normal go to genre for reading. Occasionally, though, I find a sci-fi book that piques my interest. Kyrathaba Rising by William Bryan Miller was one of those books!

Synopsis (from the author): 170 years from now, aliens decimate Earth. A relative handful of humans survive, hidden in deep subterranean enclaves that offer some protection from surface radiation. Although the main attack is now seven years in the past, one alien ship remains in orbit, and the conquerors are not content merely to let humanity lick its wounds...

What I liked: William Bryan Miller created a new world complete with the remnants of humanity, AI androids, terrifying aliens, and a cool immersion into a computer-generated reality. The story has a great plot (actually multiple plots), great characters, and lots of cool technology. The androids were pretty cool, too, and even had personalities. Filled with surprising plot twists and plenty of action and violence, it was a great read!

What I didn’t like: I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings and Kyrathaba Rising definitely ended that way. For me, that, that was a disappointment. Other than the ending, though, there wasn’t much to dislike.

Overall impression: Excellent writing, great aliens, plucky humans, cool technology, and interesting androids all make for a great sci-fi book. I will be reading the sequel so I can get past the cliffhanger ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction!

My rating: 5 Stars

Source: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2GQERE00OZUD

Another great fantasy from Carol Marrs Phipps

The Reaper Witch - Carol Marrs Phipps, Tom Phipps, Marija Vilotijevic

I’ve read most of the books of The Heart of The Staff fantasy series by Carol Marrs Phipps, so I had to read the final installment of the series. As with the other books, it was an excellent read!

 

Synopsis (from the author): Niarg has fallen to the dark sorceresses Demonica and Queen Spitemorta. The dragons have fled from their caves. Confident that Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten are dead, and that the trolls have eaten every breathing Elf, Spitemorta brings down the last hamlets of the Northern Continent as she prepares to conquer the rest of the world.
But Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten do live and are hiding in the crater of Mount Bedd with the Fairy guardians of the Forest Primeval, where they wait for what remains of their army before fleeing to the Black Desert to live beneath its burning sands with the dragons and all of the Elves who escaped Demonica's great troll raid, down their hidden river.
Is this truly the end of Niarg and freedom everywhere in world? Can Elves, dragons and men live outside her bondage, or will the Reaper Witch find them and enslave them once and for all?

 

What I liked: Over the course of reading this series, I became fond of many of the characters. My favorites are Minuet, Razzmorten, Edward Myrtlebell’s son) and the dragons. I think the blue tattooed warriors (Beaks) were great characters. I enjoyed the way the various threads of the story cam etogether, but you’ll get no spoilers from me! To find out how it all ends, you will just have to read it!

 

What I didn’t like: I did struggle a bit with the language of the Fairies. It was fine in small doses, but in this book, there was much dialogue among the three sisters and it slowed my reading as I tried to comprehend what they were saying.

 

Overall impression: I enjoyed the entire series and this book was certainly a worthy successor to the previous books. A great blend of intrigue, magic, evil witches, heroic sacrifice, and just a touch of romance makes the book a fun read. I would recommend it to any fan of fantasy! Well done Carol Marrs Phipps!

 

My rating: 4.5 Stars!!

Source: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2B0612K8I4D3O