Sunday, April 29, 2018

"Nemesis (The New Earth Colonies Book 2)"
by Nina Silver

The Earth had been attacked by an alien race known as the Oorupta. While the invaders were eventually defeated, though not destroyed, the Earth was left in a very poor state to support everyone living on it. Now, Humans have developed interstellar ships and colonized the other planets in the solar system. Each planet seems to have a purpose dedicated primarily to those living there.

This book begins with a two girls who have just finished their education and are leaving Saturn for their future career placements. Xan, a young doctor. is being sent to Jupiter colony. This is where the military forces are primarily stationed and is the most technologically advanced of the colonies. Her best friend Iolee has been studying linguistics and will be remaining on Saturn.

On Jupiter, Xan meets a very handsome soldier named Jax who apparently has no interest in her or anyone else. He is dedicated to his career and appears to actively dislike Xan, at least so far as she can tell. But before Xan can begin her first day in her new job, a ship that had been missing for quite some time arrives and is allowed to dock at the Jupiter spaceport. Unfortunately, it turns out that what was on the ship weren’t the expected human personnel, but the Oorupta. The Colonies are under attack once again.

This book is not appropriate for younger readers as there are some rather descriptive sexual encounters. I also must give this book a Trigger Warning as it contains an attempted rape.

The plot of the story is very interesting and one I enjoyed reading. However this book was sent as a .pdf file. I don’t know if the problem I encountered with the file is a quirk unique to my device, but the text of the story downloaded very small onto my kindle. (I often run into problems with .pdf files and my kindle, so this might be a problem very few others will run into.) The author was kind enough to provide me with a larger print version of the book that was much easier for me to read. And while I did very much enjoy the plot of the book, I felt that it could have used another round of editing before publication.

Monday, April 23, 2018

"Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol

This was a long book with a lot of detail on the life of musician Billy Idol. He has always had music in his life, though his father was initially against Billy’s decision to pursue a career as a singer. As someone who enjoyed his music when I was in my teens, I for one am glad that he followed his dream and pursued his passion.

A lot of his career followed the theme of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll that was often true of many singers and bands in those days. This theme seemed to control most of his life, to the point where at times it was a wonder that he was capable of much of anything and truly a wonder that he didn’t manage to accidently kill himself from an overdose. This book did not shy away from the darker aspects of his life. It discussed everything, both the good and the bad, in honest detail from the perspective of the man who lived through it all.

I think the part of the book that I enjoyed the most, was at the end. It included a number of pictures from throughout his life, as well as pictures of his parents before they were married. I did enjoy reading this book. His life was not always easy, but it was definitely interesting.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

"Her Silent Burden: Seeing Ranch Series"
by Florence Linnington

Theadora’s husband has died a mere three months into their marriage. While she can’t entirely mourn his loss (he was an abusive husband who treated her very poorly), she is now left with nothing as he had not even included her in his will. Very shortly she will no longer even have a place to live. In desperation, she decides to become a mail-order bride and to accept the first marriage proposal that comes her way.

Wakefield Briggs owns and runs a saloon in a small mining town in the Rocky mountains. His is the first, and only reply to Thea’a advertisement seeking a husband. Thea’s ad had stated that she was a widow who had only been married 3 months and that she had no children. Wakefield does not want children, and her lack of any was one of the reasons he had chosen to reply to her ad. Thea is very nervous about her decision to marry a man she knows nothing about, but not having any other options, she accepts his proposal, Her only hope is that he turns out to be nothing like her first husband.

Upon meeting each other, there is an immediate attraction between Thea & Wakefield. They are quickly married and all seems to be going quite well between them. The only real problem seems to be that Wakefield is far too overprotective of her. He doesn’t want her walking anywhere by herself, not even the short distance to visit the nearest neighbor. Clearly there is something behind this irrational behavior that he hasn’t told her, but the question is what could possibly worry him so much about her merely walking up the road by herself? And then Thea discovers that her first husband did in fact leave her with something after all... after only being married for no more than a few weeks to a man who has made it clear that he wants no children, she discovers that she was pregnant after all.

As with her previous books in this series, I truly enjoyed this tale. This story deals with the importance of trust and honesty between two people, especially when entering into a marriage where they have not known each other for very long. Without it, things rapidly begin to fall apart and are hard to put back together. I enjoyed reading this story, as I have the others in this series. There were a few more typos in this book than I am used to seeing from Ms. Linnington, but the story itself makes this book well worth reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Little Bear and his Chair" by Claressa Swensen

Little Bear has a favorite Chair that he doesn’t want to share with anyone. But how do his friends react when he won’t let them sit in his favorite chair?

This was a very sweet little story that helps to show children who don’t like to share their belongings what can happen when they refuse to share with others. After all, playing with other children often means needing to be willing to share with them.

I believe this story will help to encourage young children to learn to be kind to each other. It very clearly shows how they can have more fun when they share their favorite things than they will have if they won’t share.

Note: The reason this book does not yet have a link on this review is that the book is not yet available for sale on Amazon. Once as it is available, I will update this page to include a link.

Monday, April 16, 2018

"Burning Bridges, Parallax Book One"
by Marina Landry

Many years before the start of this story, the Earth had become unable to continue to support much life living on it’s surface. It’s resources had been almost completely depleted. If human life were to continue, it would need to find somewhere else to live. The populace built a new home orbiting the planet out of every space-faring craft they could find. Over time, the earth began to heal and people were once again able to begin living on the surface. More years passed and what had once been one society, developed into two: Unity (run by the Unity People’s Guard up on the space station) and the Earthers (those who lived on the planet’s surface.

Hart James is a prisoner being held in a prison camp on Planet Earth. He had been born and lived on Unity, but life up there is strictly controlled and regulated by the UPG. He became a member of a rebel group known as the Freestanders and with them he had fought for more freedoms for the people on Unity. Life on Unity is also much more dependent on technology than life on Earth, which is much more nature based. While the two societies had started as one long ago, they are now extremely different from each other. Even their languages have diverged significantly from each other, making it quite difficult for those on Earth to communicate with those who were born and raised on Unity.

Freestander rebels who are caught are sent to live and work on Earth, where life is much more difficult. Earthers grow the food that is then sent to Unity to feed the population on the space station. As they do not have the technology available on Unity, life is harsher, and those sent to the prison camp are not likely to ever be able to return to their family & friends living on the space station. Of course that does not stop them from trying to escape anyway.

I liked this book. Ms. Landry has written a very interesting sci-fi tale that has a bit of romance thrown in as well. Watching the interaction between the Unity prisoners and the Earther farmers and the difficulties they had when it came to communication because of language issues made the story all the more intriguing. At first I had a slight bit of difficulty reading the book because of what I thought were spelling errors/typos, but I quickly came to realize were meant to show the change in the language as words had evolved and changed over time. Once I realized that, reading the story became much simpler and more enjoyable for me. I would recommend this book to my friends and am very interested in reading book 2 in this series once it is available.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Becoming Charlie, Part One"
by Kristie Haigwood

Upon finishing a tutoring session with one of the cheerleaders, Charlie Mason is attacked while walking home from school. She screams for help while trying to defend herself against 3 attackers. Her rescuer, Sean Reese, manages to stop the attack. His assistance also brings out a number of witnesses who had been attending the baseball game at the school that evening. Even though her attackers fled at that point, they were recognized by a number of people and will not escape punishment.

Unwilling to leave her alone after the attack, Sean walks her home. Seeing that there was no one at her house, he insists on staying until her mother returns. Besides being one of the most popular boys in her school, he appears to be genuinely kind and concerned about her. They spend the next several hours talking and becoming friends. Each of them has had a rough past and has secrets that they are not yet willing to share. Complete trust does take time to build, after all, regardless of how two people meet.

This was an amazing story. It was well-written, well edited and clearly expressed the many emotions and worries that high school teens experience. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I was so entranced reading this one that my only complaint was that the book ended with a bit of a cliffhanger, requiring me to wait for Part Two to be released before I can find out what happens next! It was a very quick read and one that I greatly enjoyed. This book is one that I highly recommend reading. I know that I’ll be waiting impatiently for the release of Part Two.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"The Sons of Constance: The Swithin Book 2" by Scott Telek

This is a story about Merlin and continues the tale begun in “Our Man on Earth.” It is based upon several legends written between 1150 AD and 1450 AD. Merlin is now 7 years Old. King Constance has passed away, leaving his eldest son Maine, then 17 and inexperienced, as his heir. Vortiger, a trusted advisor to the young king, gives in to his jealousy and Maine is murdered. Maine’s younger brothers, Pendragon and Uther, are taken away from the country to save their lives. With Vortiger now King, many soon regret their desire for his rule over the rightful heir.

As time passes, and both the people and the King realize their mistake, Vortiger begins building a tower to provide him with protection against the eventual return of the rightful heirs. However whenever the tower reaches a certain height, it collapses. Advisors to the king convince him that the only way it can stand is to mix the blood of a fatherless child (Merlin) with the mortar. They don’t truly know why the tower keeps collapsing, but they do know that if Merlin becomes an advisor to Vortiger they will lose what power they currently possess as well as their lives.

From here the tale continues through the rest of Vortiger’s reign and the eventual return of the sons of the former King Constance. Merlin is a great influence on those ruling the country. One thing is certain: while he never lies to those he advises, lying to him or not trusting that he is there for the good of the country is always a big mistake. Merlin may have his own plan, but it is meant to bring the country to a time of true greatness. At least it will if those in charge can trust him and not betray his trust.

This was a longer book than many that I have read lately (almost 500 pages), but I enjoyed the unique perspective it gives on Merlin and those around him. While I am familiar with a lot of the legends surrounding him, this one gave a slightly different view than what I had previously read. While there were still some typos in the book, the editing was greatly improved from the first book in this series. If you enjoy tales of Merlin, I believe you will enjoy reading this one. It may take place before Arthur & the Knights of the round table existed, but it is clearly leading up to those legends. I enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to reading the next one in this series as well.

Friday, April 6, 2018

"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

Set in the future, the world has become a rather dark & bleak place. Too many people and not enough resources, the only real escape for anyone is in a virtual reality program known as the Oasis. Most everyone spends as much time as they can in the Oasis, which is much more pleasant than the real world as well as a source of free entertainment for most people. Even many schools now take place inside the Oasis.

When James Halliday dies, he initiates a contest in the Oasis. His will leaves virtually everything he owns, including control of the Oasis, to whomever solves 3 challenges and finds the Easter Egg he has hidden within the Oasis. Winning this contest has become an obsession for many people as it would forever change their lives for the better. However Innovative Online Industries (IOI), is determined to win the contest at any cost and take control of Gregarious Simulation Systems. As the owners of the Oasis, they would be able to do as they please with it, which most people assume means charging people large sums of money to use something that until then had been free for everyone.

This book has been recently turned into a motion picture. For those who have seen “Ready Player One” but have not yet read the book, you should be aware that much was changed from the book. Does this make either the movie or the book less enjoyable? In my opinion, the answer is no it does not. I have both seen the movie and read the book, and despite the differences between the two, I loved them both. And while there are many differences between them, both are highly enjoyable, especially if like me, you were a child of the 1980’s and grew up with most of the things referenced in both the book and the movie.

I most definitely enjoyed reading this book. It was very well written and well edited. The many, many 80’s references were very entertaining and had me reminiscing about songs, movies, TV shows, video games, and commercials that I have neither seen nor thought about in years. I consider this book to be one of my new favorite guilty pleasures. I’m very glad that I read it as well as saw the movie it was turned into. I would recommend both seeing the movie and definitely reading this book.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Light at the End of the World"
by J.A. Cummings

Alexander is the son of a (mostly) human man and a Succubus. He was born & raised in Hell, but now his mother is bringing him to the Earth’s surface to keep him safe. Approximately every 500 years, an attempt to produce a child who will be the Antichrist is made. Alexander’s mother believes him to be the one they have been waiting for. A prophecy claims that there will be 3 potential children born who might be the True Antichrist. But the truth as to which is actually the one the Demons have been waiting for has yet to be determined.

At the same time, a woman by the name of Jessica learns from her doctor that she is pregnant. There’s just one problem... it’s been over a year since she last had sex, so how can she possibly be pregnant? At this time, she starts getting phone calls from a man she has never met. When she keeps refusing to talk to him, he suddenly appears in her apartment one afternoon. He claims to be an Incubus and the father of her unborn child. Hers is the second child of this prophecy. The Third Child, the child fathered by Satan himself, has not yet been located.

But hope is not completely lost, for there are also Angelic forces at work who have been sent to protect Jessica and the others involved in the potential arrival of an Antichrist meant to challenge Heaven and God’s dominance. As is to be expected, there is far more at stake here than is immediately obvious even to those involved. One thing to keep in mind is the question: can those who have Fallen be redeemed and returned to a state of Grace? Is Hell’s punishment and damnation truly eternal or can even the worst of Hell’s Demons also be forgiven and Saved?

I honestly did not want to put this book down to sleep at night, I was enjoying it that much. It brought up questions that had never occurred to me to wonder about before. This was one of the most original stories that I have read in a long time. The plot twists kept me guessing throughout as to what would happen next. And even though many of the characters and much of the plot involved sex demons, everything was handled in such a way that I feel quite comfortable allowing my 13 year old daughter to read this book. (And yes, she has asked me if she may read it.) There are no graphic depictions of anything inappropriate for younger readers in this book. Anything truly inappropriate happens “off-camera.”

I greatly enjoyed reading this book and would strongly recommend it to anyone. This was an excellent book that told an amazing story. You should definitely give this one a chance.

Wings of Ink by Angelina Steffort

Anya, after spending years in a Tavrasian Prison expecting to be killed, is instead given to the Crow Fairies. She is now to become the brid...