Category Archives: Reviews

Review: A Study in Silks

A Study in Silks
A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No man is an angel, however handsome he is.

Evelina Cooper, Sherlock Holmes’s niece, is trying to find her way between two worlds: that of her uncle and Grandmamma Holmes, and her circus-performing Gran Cooper. While readying for her first Season, murder and intrigue compel Evelina to follow in her uncle’s footsteps and play detective in order to save her friends.

Evelina, Imogen, Nick, and Tobias–and the rest of the cast–are all unique characters bursting with life. The setting takes on a essence of its own, complete with magical guardians and questionable night life. The fascination with tools, mechanics, and magic puts Evelina in wonderfully awkward situations, which she uses to her advantage.

There were few places the pace slowed, and sometimes the lack of communication, though purposeful, was frustrating. The tragedy of Gran Cooper was disappointing–it would have been a good meeting.

A Study in Silks is a delightful twist on the Holmes world, full of steam engines, magic, and clockwork contraptions. If you’re a fan of steampunk, mysteries, and Sherlock, pick it up.

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Review: Gardens of Ampheia

Gardens of Ampheia
Gardens of Ampheia by Joshua Silverman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Purple like the color of the fire?

Thea has trained for war her entire life. Living as a farmer, she has a lonely existence until a horrible accident changes her life — and life on Potara — forever.

Though short, this novella packs a lot of history and action. There is much more to Thea than meets the eye, and she discovers things about herself and pieces of her past, leading to life as it’s known in The Emerald Tablet.

Thea is a strong character who does the best she can without true guidance. She is ruled by fear and uncertainty, perhaps rightly so. As the story unfolds, it hints at who she will be and what greatness she’ll accomplish.

Gardens of Ampheia is a great addition to the Legends of Amun Ra world.

*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review*

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Review: The Soul of the World

The Soul of the World
The Soul of the World by Joshua Silverman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Think positive thoughts, Leoros. Think about Atlantia. Don’t let the fear, the hate, in.

The Soul of the World picks up two years after The Emerald Tablet left off. The action kicks into high gear as a race for knowledge and power leaves no time for catching of breath. Leoros must find a way to get back to Atlantia, and stop the Brotherhood of the Black Rose from destroying Potara — but how?

The cast of characters returns to face the next challenges of fulfilling the prophecy. Leoros and Atlantia are reunited, bringing a few new faces into the mix; Kem and Shirin strive for godhood; Dio and Axios prepare for war. The internal battles these characters face are almost as devastating as the physical, and the development of each blossoms.

The writing is immediately different (3rd person past vs 3rd person present from the first book) and flows more smoothly than the previous book. The descriptions are vivid and rich, and there is much more going on with each character. That said, the ending seemed a bit rushed for all the build-up that took place.

Full of action, reunion, hardships, battle, and conflict, The Soul of the World is a brilliant sequel and promises great things to come from this series.

*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review*

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Review: The Emerald Tablet

The Emerald Tablet
The Emerald Tablet by Joshua Silverman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We’re going to find the secrets to the universe…

While on a dig with his mother in Egypt to find the Emerald Tablet, Leoros uncovers a distant world full of energy, prophecy, and conflict. Joined by Atlantia, the last of the Oracles, Leoros discovers his destiny and must fight to save a people he never new existed.

The Emerald Table is an captivating read, full of rich myth woven in with science and fantasy. There was a lot of care taken to get the facts correct and to twist them into a blend of ancient and modern worlds.

The long list of characters might seem daunting at first, especially with the authentic names, but they become familiar as the story progresses. Leoros seems to adjust very quickly to his new situation, his trust and faith, if you will, placed almost blindly in his new mentor and friends. But as the plot progresses, Leoros and Atlantia come into their own.

While the story itself was fascinating, the ‘telling’ was repetitive in places. The characters had wonderful potential to ‘show’ what they were thinking/going through, but fell short.

Overall, The Emerald Table is a complex introduction to a series worth reading for anyone who loves the blend of myth and modern-day science/fantasy.

*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review*

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Review: Trust

Trust
Trust by Tim Mettey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In my mind, I could see all the different possibilities of what was about to happen, and there was only one scenario where Chad wouldn’t get hurt.

Three months ago, Nicholas Keller found out he was part of an ancient group called the Thusians. He thought his life was settling down, until his new neighbors move in. Now he finds himself taking part of an impossible search. In order to protect everyone he cares about, he must figure out who to trust.

Trust picks up where Secrets leaves off, tossing Nicholas and Elle back in to danger. The writing is clearer (perhaps due to not having to reestablish the world) and there is a nice build of anticipation about the search. Readers who liked following Nicholas in Secrets will enjoy Trust even more.

Like Secrets, Trust was an entertaining read, fast-paced and full of mystery that keeps readers turning the page. Nicholas’s story doesn’t seem over yet, and readers will be curious to see what his next challenge will be.

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New Release: Trust

Today I have a new release from Tim Mettey. It is the sequel to Secrets and the second book in The Hero Chronicles. I have read Secrets, you can see my review here, and will have my review for Trust up soon.

Also, Oct. 10-11th, Trust  will be FREE! (It also looks like Secrets is free too!) If you’re looking for a book to keep your NA hooked, check this out!

THC_Trust_FrontCover_CMYKBlurb:

Nicholas Keller has come to terms with his Thusian heritage and has finally achieved some normalcy in his life. But when new neighbors move in next door at the beginning of his junior year, everything changes. He is launched into an impossible search, uncertain of who to trust, and this time it’s not just his own life that hangs in the balance—it’s the lives of countless others and everyone he loves.

Continue reading New Release: Trust

Review: Tease

Tease
Tease by Cambria Hebert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A person can only make a mockery out of someone if they allow it.

Harlow is broke. Her snow cone vending job isn’t going to pay the bills since her roommate moved out and her student funding got cut. So she walks into the Mad Hatter and becomes a stripper.

The book begins with a strong, sexy (if shy) Harlow, who knows what she wants and is determined to get it. As the novel progresses, she becomes more dependent on Cam, the sexy bartender who is slowly stealing her heart. The plot is a little loose, with someone suddenly stalking Harlow, but the chemistry and humor between her and Cam is endearing. The way Cam knows exactly what to do to drive her crazy, knows where to take her to sweep her off her feet, and shows up exactly when she needs him is both sweet and frustrating.

Tease has a cast of characters who readers will want to know more about, a lot of teasing sex appeal, and some sweet and funny moments.

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Review: Torch

Torch
Torch by Cambria Hebert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The problem with passing out is that upon awakening, you had to face the pain of whatever caused you to pass out in the first place all over again.

Katie Parks likes her quiet life. She’s alone–has been since she was fifteen–with her books most of the time. Until she awakens tied to a chair with flames around her and is saved by a daring fireman, Holt.

While the end reason for why Katie is being stalked is a bit thin, there’s no denying the chemistry between her and Holt. The heat between them flares quickly to instalove, and Katie gives herself to Holt before the bad guy is found. Holt is the most sensitive guy alive, always knowing exactly what to say–and it’s always the most sweetest thing of dreams.

Torch is a sexy, fluffy, sweet start to the Take It Off series. There’s so much heat, it’s a miracle the characters don’t go up in flames.

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Review: Sky’s End

Sky's End
Sky’s End by Lesley Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Apparently I’m vulnerable to distraction by shiny objects…

Cassiel Winters has a secret. In order to find her missing brother, Daz, she’s enlisted in the Academy. But when her Hand to Hand test goes awry and she’s given a mission in exchange for her staying in ESE, she finds out there is more to her secret than she ever knew possible.

Sky’s End isn’t an easy book to get in to, but once there, the story flows along at a considerable pace. While there are still slow points, the incredible situations Cassiel gets herself into–and out of–maintain the reader’s attention despite strange words that are never quite defined or distracting repetition and over-used made-up words.

Cassiel’s voice is strong, but she is young and she shows it in many ways. She is reluctant to admit her feelings, yet she’s happy to slip anyone some tongue, once she starts. The intended tension didn’t live up to the ping-pong of Cassiel’s emotional roller coaster.

Sky’s End is an interesting start to a new world of sci-fi, where women are stronger than even they knew, aliens are super-sexy warriors, and finding yourself is only the beginning.

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Review: Renegade

Renegade
Renegade by Cambria Hebert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At least he didn’t try to tell me it would be okay. We would have both known he was lying.

Sam and Heven are picking up the pieces, and trying to come to terms with all they’ve lost. Now everything is at risk as Beelzebub brings his war home. Can Sam and Heven win this war, or will they lose too much in the end?

Sam and Heven, along with the rest of the characters from the series, join a few more in an effort to save the world from Beelzebub’s lofty plans. The characters continue to drive this story (series) onward, and the growth of Heven and Sam shines in this book. There were a few places where the action dropped or got diverted, and a few things that might have been tied up more completely. But all in all, the characters and the world were well done, vivid, and complex — even the side characters introduced throughout the series had their say and were fleshed out.

The final book in the Heven and Hell series wraps almost everything up into a nice package. The story lines all have satisfying endings, if not the ones readers saw coming. The twists, deceptions, and triumphs keep readers turning the page, eager for more.

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